KONDUGA, Nigeria — Ten-year-old Abdul stood on a dirt road in a village tucked between millet fields and pulled up his shirt. A fresh scar stretched lengthwise down his stomach — the result of a suicide bombing by Boko Haram in June that sent shrapnel tearing through his belly.
A half dozen other boys crowded around him and pulled up their shirts. All bore similar scars from the attack.
Nigeria’s war against the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram was supposed to be over by now. President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, was re-elected earlier this year after boasting about his progress battling Boko Harm. He has repeatedly declared that the group has been “technically defeated.” On Tuesday, the president conceded that “its members are still a nuisance.”
A full decade into the war, however, Boko Haram militants are still roaming the countryside with impunity. Their fighters now have more sophisticated drones than the military and are well-armed after successful raids on military brigades, according to local politicians and security analysts.