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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
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.

VOA Blogs