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Boko Haram Takes Advantage of Instability as Lake Chad Shrinks

Droughts, unemployment and conflict over resources: Residents around Lake Chad are grappling with the consequences of climate change. Terrorist groups like Boko Haram know how to exploit this to their advantage.

"Lake Chad is dying." President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger was peremptory in his speech at the opening of the Paris Climate Conference on Monday, November 30. He was seconded by his counterparts from Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, all neighboring countries around Lake Chad. Once, the landlocked lake measured more than 25,000 square kilometers (9,700 square miles). Now it covers just 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles). Droughts in the 1970s and 1980s caused Lake Chad to dry up almost completely, reducing reservoirs and putting the livelihood of millions at risk.

Michael Fleshman

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