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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More