Last week, the Islamist group Boko Haram bombed Nigeria's police headquarters in Abuja, killing six. In an email interview, Jennifer Giroux, a senior researcher at the Crisis and Risk Network at ETH Zurich, discussed Nigeria's rebel groups.
WPR: Who are the main rebel groups in Nigeria, and what are their main objectives?
Jennifer Giroux: Nigeria is a complicated case. One can delineate two types of rebel groups. The first operates in the south in the Niger Delta, where decades of poor natural-resource management has left the region in a state of low development, high poverty and significant environmental damage. The most recent and well-known group in this region is the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), an umbrella militant organization that was launched in 2005 with the goal of forcing the Nigerian government to address the myriad socio-economic grievances in the region. In particular, they are advocating for a greater share of oil wealth for the region's inhabitants.