Men gather for a village meeting, near Bol, Chad (©Arno Trümper/adelphi)

Recruiters with armed opposition groups have been able to take advantage of the lack of social provision in all four Lake Chad countries. The groups fill a gap by offering services that are not provided by governments, such as religious education, healthcare, food and access to funds.

Some recruits leave armed opposition groups and then return, a trends that is growing, often due to much better economic opportunities available within armed groups compared with the lack of employment prospects outside. Recruits may see life in the forest as more dignified than living in a camp and depending on aid organisations for food.