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Security: Keep it calm

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

Opportunity knocks

Fly Title: 

Security

Rubric: 

Violence, mainly but not exclusively in the north, has exacerbated Nigeria’s many problems

Main image: 

Where are our girls?

Where are our girls?

THE GRAINY IMAGES looked like relics of a bygone era: white mercenaries riding on armoured vehicles through burned-out African villages. In fact, it was the characters themselves who were military relics. Many of the men recruited to fight Nigeria’s war on Boko Haram were in their 50s, veterans of apartheid South Africa’s bush conflicts in the 1980s. A good proportion were thought to have come from Koevoet, a special-forces unit in the South African police that ruthlessly hunted insurgents in what is now Namibia. Age may have wearied them, but not through lack of activity.
Many have been fighting on, more or less continuously, in almost every big conflict in the past three decades, including Angola and Sierra Leone and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan. This …

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