In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, people who fled the village of Gwoza, after an attack by Boko Haram, sit, at the camp of internal displace people, in Yola, Nigeria. After the Nigerian government soldiers fled and the Islamic insurgents arrived in his village with guns blazing, Peter Fabian ran away along with dozens of others. “Our homes have been burned, our churches,” Fabian said. “Many of our brothers have been killed.” Fabian is among the most recent to join 1.6 million other Nigerians who have abandoned their homes amid attacks by Boko Haram, creating a humanitarian crisis in Arica’s most populous nation. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014,  people who fled the village of Gwoza, after an attack by Boko Haram, sit, at the camp of internal displace people, in Yola, Nigeria. After the Nigerian government soldiers fled and the Islamic insurgents arrived in his village with guns blazing, Peter Fabian ran away along with dozens of others. “Our homes have been burned, our churches,” Fabian said. “Many of our brothers have been killed.” Fabian is among the most recent to join 1.6 million other Nigerians who have abandoned their homes amid attacks by Boko Haram, creating a humanitarian crisis in Arica’s most populous nation. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, people who fled the village of Gwoza, after an attack by Boko Haram, sit, at the camp of internal displace people, in Yola, Nigeria. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(BBC) – When Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from a school in Chibok in April 2014, the world woke up to the brutality and strength of its insurgency.

Since it launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state, the group has seized vast amounts of territory in the north-east of the country and caused a humanitarian crisis affecting some three million people, according to the country’s officials.

In the run-up to Nigeria’s elections on 14 February, Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks. There are also added fears that those living in areas controlled by the group will be unable to vote.

There are many factors that have enabled the rise of Islamic militancy in the country, but the blame for some falls on the Nigerian army. Three expert witnesses offer their insight as to whether this is correct, for the BBC World Service’s The Inquiry.

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