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.

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