Boko Haram is responsible for significant levels of violence across Nigeria and beyond. It continues to expand its network, attracting and recruiting new members. In this talk, Mahdi Abdile provided insight into the experiences and motivations of former Boko Haram members, drawing on personal interviews conducted in the last two years with over 100 former members. The presentation also examined the perspectives of women who used to belong to the group. Finally, Abdile discussed the results of a survey of peacebuilding civil-society organisations in Nigeria, which assesses the involvement of civil society in countering Boko Haram and promoting peace in the country.


Mahdi Abdile is Fellow and Senior Researcher at the European Institute of Peace in Brussels, and Director of Research and Countering Violent Extremism at the Network for Traditional and Religious Peacemakers in Helsinki. He has 15 years of fieldwork and research experience in Africa, exploring the links between conflict, development and key drivers of violent extremism, and has authored and co-authored several articles and books on the subject.


This event was chaired by Anastasia Voronkova, Research Fellow for Armed Conflict, IISS. It took place in the fourth-floor Trafalgar Room, Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.

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Event details

Discussion Meeting
Mahdi Abdile, Fellow and Senior Researcher, European Institute of Peace
Arundel House, London
Friday 2 December 2016, 10.30–11.30AM BST

Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

October–November 2016

In this issue, Anatol Lieven, Nigel Inkster and Kori Schake consider America's electoral choices.