News / Africa

    Mass Arrest in Nigeria Amid Fears of Growing Insurgency

    Abuja, NigeriaAbuja, Nigeria
    x
    Abuja, Nigeria
    Abuja, Nigeria
    Heather Murdock
    The Nigerian military has arrested more than 400 people traveling in southern Nigeria on suspicion they are members of the radical group Boko Haram.  
     
    The men, and reportedly a few women, were traveling in more than 30 buses when they were stopped by the army Sunday and detained at an army barracks in Abia state.  

    Local officials said they were suspected of being members of Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group that has killed thousands of people in the past five years, mostly in the far northeast of the country.
     
    But on a scratchy phone line from the southern city of Port Harcourt, Balamato Danbam, a traditional leader from the north, says the travelers were traders, looking to do business in the south.
     
    A church bomb in another southern city over the weekend again raised fears that Boko Haram is seeking to operate in the south.  
     
    Meanwhile, in the north, another attack was reported, with more than 20 people killed Sunday in the village of Daku.

    More than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in April remain missing, despite pledges from Nigerian authorities and governments around the world to free them.  

    The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, Chris Smith, spoke recently in Abuja.

    “Boko Haram is a lethal force," Smith said. "They have grown in capability and weapons and the ability to evade detection.  The effort will be protracted.  No one is going to let up until the girls are released and until this violence is ended.”  

    Other visiting members of Congress said the United States is providing training and intelligence to help Nigeria combat Boko Haram and find the girls, but has not discussed placing “boots on the ground.”   
     
    Several countries have designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization, including the United States, Britain, and Nigeria.  But analysts say mass arrests in the south, far from the insurgency, usually do not lead to convictions.  

    Hilary Uguru contributed to this report from the Niger Delta.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    June 17, 2014 2:21 PM
    "These arrests usually lead to nothing", summarizes it all about Nigeria. Even the so-called extradition pursued in Khartoum leads to nothing at the end of the day, if not to bring the culprit home only to unleash him on the unsuspecting populace. Look at the impunity with which the boko haram-prone states operatives are maneuvering; look at the gut with which they operate as if nobody is in charge in the country. Yet Jonathan wants to unleash himself on the country come 2015.

    Now what do these countries mean they want to help bring home the girls and nothing is coming out of it? We have witnessed an unprecedented visit of vultures in the name of diplomacy to free the girls - makes me wonder if they mean well for the country and yet with all the technology, military and social advancement, they have not as much as scratched the search on the surface. Are they the problem, or are they contributing to the problem, or are they helping the problem?
    In Response

    by: Mazi from: Enugu
    June 18, 2014 2:46 AM
    The prayerful wishes of very many nigerians in the sourth east is that the government should forget their 2016 political ambitions and institute a security check on the now suspected program of the bokoharam to establish another zone on the bad roads hidden area south of the Ohafia President Goodluck Jonathan Millitary Baracks. Bokoharma are suspected by the people to be moving to take over the barack. This will create them the whole of that southern zone as they have earned in the northeast. we need an emediate repairs on the roads from the burack to the downsouth which is now tends to sute bokoharam suspected movement.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.