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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid