Military Alliance and Counter-Terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Multi-National Joint Task Force in Perspective

Usman A. Tar, Adejoh Sunday


Understanding the formation and consequences of formal military alliances is a research area that is central to the study of international relations. Military alliances help define and shape the nature of interactions between countries, and by structuring international obligations; they help construct the nature of the international system. Over time, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have been faced with myriads of security challenges, ranging from militancy, ethno-religious crisis, political conflict, human and drug trafficking, to trans-border crimes. In recent times however, terrorism and insurgency have become a major security threat to the sovereignty of these countries, particularly the threat of Boko Haram in the Northeast of Nigeria and countries of the Lake Chad region; hence the formation of the Multi-National Joint Task Force as a military alliance to combat terrorism. The paper is thus, an attempt to investigate the role of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in countering Boko Haram terrorism within Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. In interrogating the above problem, this paper scooped from secondary data and employed the Simon Walt’s theory of alliance as analytical framework. It is the position of the paper that the MNJTF has made remarkable achievement in the fight against Boko Haram. In the final analysis, the paper recommends, among other things, the need for participating states in the MNJTF to be much more committed in terms of funding and purchase of military equipment to further enhance military preparedness and capabilities.   

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