In March 2015, Nigeria elected a new president, Muhammadu Buhari. The U.S. has since increased military assistance to Nigeria, specifically to aid the fight against the armed group, Boko Haram.

However, this militarized approach, used for “security” and “protection” of the people, fails to address the root causes of the conflict and only serves to continue cycles of violence, displacement, and destruction. As many as 1.7 million people have been displaced from their homes and communities as a result of already existing violence, while many lack access to food, education and health care.

MCC continues to advocate that more military action will not bring justice or sustainable peace to Nigeria. Instead, trauma awareness and resilience programs, as well as interfaith community initiatives create a space where healing and open dialogue can occur. —Katherine Crosby