THURSDAY, 03/25/2021 | 5:00PM EDT

Foreign Affairs


Future Leaders

Operating Outside the Law: Violent Non-state Actors in Nigeria



Thursday, March 25th, 2021 at 5:00pm EDT

Hosted on Zoom - the link and optional background materials will be emailed to you after registration


Multiple violent non-state actors currently operate in Nigeria, threatening the overall security of the country. Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for over a decade; however, today other violent insurgents and criminal organizations are engaging in conflict, kidnappings, and working to expand their reach in Nigeria as well. Along with these groups, the deadly farmer-herder conflict has taken a grave toll and has contributed to Nigeria’s complex internal security problem. In this event, we will be speaking with Former US Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Ernest Ogbozor of the George Washington University on their insights into the current security situation in Nigeria, the activities of various violent non-state actors involved, and the steps being taken by the Nigerian government to combat these issues.


Foreign Affairs with Future Leaders is a series of youth-led discussions which analyze various international issues and topics by collaboratively addressing their most critical questions. They are co-hosted by the Onero Institute, the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority at GWU, the Women In International Security GW Student Branch, and the School for Ethics and Global Leadership. This event is also co-sponsored by the Institute for African Studies at the George Washington University and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs.


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John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. He is the author of the new book Nigeria and the Nation-State: Rethinking Diplomacy with the Postcolonial World, published December 2020, and writes the blog Africa in Transition. From 1975 to 2007, Campbell served as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He served twice in Nigeria, as political counselor from 1988 to 1990, and as ambassador from 2004 to 2007.

Dr. Ernest Ogbozor is a professorial lecturer and a scholar at the Institute for African Studies, George Washington University. He was a recipient of the Ford Foundation International Fellowship. His research addresses two fundamental questions: to understand the micro-level impact of conflict and the strategies used by local communities to cope with violence and protect their livelihoods. He has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a frontline humanitarian response officer in Nigeria, managed emergency relief to civilian victims of inter-communal violence, ethno-religious, election violence, and violent extremism




Payton Beaumier is Co-president of the Women in International Security GW Student Branch and a Researcher at Onero. She is a third year student from Iowa pursuing a major in International Affairs through the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. Her concentrations include Security Policy and Conflict Resolution. She is particularly interested in counterterrorism and examining military operations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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