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Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF)

Location: Maiduguri, Nigeria

Type: Civil society

The CJTF are a paramilitary vigilante group in northeast Nigeria that was formed in 2013. They currently boast 26,000 members, of which most are volunteer.  The CJTF have the express aim of defeating Boko Haram.

In regard to counter-IED, they have gained attention for their quick response to IED threats that Boko Haram present. Members of the CJTF have been known to intercept suicide bombers. Killing them before they detonate their explosives or ensuring that the only people they kill are themselves. This work has meant suicide bombers are being stopped before civilians are harmed.

The CJTF are working in cooperation with the Nigerian Army. They have taken responsibility for manning check-points, such as at camp entrances.

Many of the members have been victims or witnesses to Boko Haram’s crime and the residents of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, are said to be grateful for the protection the CJTF offer.

Some of the CJTF have now been trained by the military and receive some wages for their work but hold the same positions as other members.

Though a very differently type of C-IED civil society organisation. The CJTF are said to have been instrumental in stopping the threat of bombs in Borno State. They represent the increasing need in areas where the threat of IED attacks are so high, for action and cooperation to decrease the threat they pose to civilians.


[There have also been reports of human rights abuses by the CJTF, likewise by the Nigerian Army, in the search for Boko Haram members and supporters.]

This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.