News / Africa

Nigerian Military Claims Progress Against Boko Haram

A partially burnt down communication tower area destroyed by Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.
A partially burnt down communication tower area destroyed by Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.
Heather Murdock
The Nigerian military says it killed 35 Islamist militants and arrested more than 150 in recent days in two northeastern states.  The military says this is a sign it is overpowering the group known popularly as Boko Haram.  But some analysts say battles will not be enough to eliminate the threat.
 
The military says the battle was "fierce'’ and lasted from early Sunday evening through the night.  
 
In a phone conversation from Yobe State, on one of Nigeria’s notoriously bad phone lines, spokesperson Lieutenant Eli Lazarus said two soldiers were injured in the battle, and that the military recovered guns, ammunition, bombs, swords and even bows and arrows after the fight.
 
Lazarus said the raid was part of “Operation Restore Sanity,” which included the arrest of 156 suspected Boko Haram members in Adamawa State, also in Nigeria’s northeast.  One suspect was also reportedly killed in that raid.
 
Lazarus said from a military perspective, this is a sign that the Nigerian government is beating Boko Haram, which has been blamed for roughly 1,400 deaths since it began attacks in 2009.
 
But some lawmakers, including Senator George Akume, say that from a social perspective, Nigeria’s mostly-Muslim northern states need development and jobs to eliminate the threat.   

“Because of lack of power and collapse of industries you have a large group of unemployed people,” said Akume. "There are so many of them, in millions, doing nothing.  It is so easy to recruit from this group.”
 
Boko Haram has not released a statement since the government announced the arrest and killing of a man known as Abu Qaqa, the Boko Haram spokesperson, last week.
 
Kabir Mato, director of the Institute for Anti-Corruption Studies at the University of Abuja, says the Boko Haram group formed in part as a response to extra-judicial killings, and Qaqa's alleged death is a part of a larger ongoing problem.   

“If it were a sensible society and if it is true that the spokesman of Boko Haram was arrested and without a weapon in his possession and he was killed then there are more questions there than answers,” said Mato.
 
Boko Haram demands the imposition of Islamic law and freedom for imprisoned members, and has attacked churches, government buildings, security forces, schools, the media and individual government officials.  
 
The United States has put three Boko Haram leaders on its list of foreign terrorists and analysts say the group is connected to other militant groups like al-Qaida and al-Shabab.  
 
However, their only non-Nigerian target to date was last year’s bombing of the local United Nations headquarters.
 
Ardo Hazzard contributed to this report from Bauchi, Nigeria.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs