News / Africa

In Nigeria, More Bloodshed Despite Fresh Promises

FILE - Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are seen at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Feb. 18, 2014.
FILE - Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are seen at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Feb. 18, 2014.
Heather Murdock
After the Nigerian government vowed to destroy Boko Haram insurgents last week, violence continued in the country's volatile northeast.  The bloodshed included an attack on a village in the area where more than 200 girls were kidnapped in April.  
 
 President Goodluck Jonathan said Friday he would do "everything humanly possible" to defeat Boko Haram, a radical Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people this year alone.  He said authorities must save the 219 school girls that have been held captive for more than two months and Boko Haram must be "crushed."


 
FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
x
FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
FILE - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media on the situation in Chibok.
"It's an emergency period.  It's like a period where the country is at war.  No information that will be left unused until terror is crushed in Nigeria," he said.
 
On Saturday, a few kilometers from Chibok town where the girls were captured, militants stormed other villages, opening fire on locals and torching houses.  It is not known how many people were killed but villagers reported seeing dozens of bodies.
 
The following day a suicide bomber rammed into a checkpoint, killing three soldiers.
 
Borno State

Both attacks were in remote areas of Borno State, the heart of the five-year-old insurgency and one of three Nigerian states that have been under military rule for more than a year.


 
A man holds a placard calling for the release of secondary school girls abducted in the remote village of Chibok, during a protest along a road in Lagos, May 14, 2014.A man holds a placard calling for the release of secondary school girls abducted in the remote village of Chibok, during a protest along a road in Lagos, May 14, 2014.
x
A man holds a placard calling for the release of secondary school girls abducted in the remote village of Chibok, during a protest along a road in Lagos, May 14, 2014.
A man holds a placard calling for the release of secondary school girls abducted in the remote village of Chibok, during a protest along a road in Lagos, May 14, 2014.
Activist Hadiza Bala-Usman is a leader of the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign that rallies daily to demand the rescue of the kidnapped school children.

"What we see is an increase of activity of the insurgency.  At the same time we see that the Nigerian military says it has up-scaled.  But that up-scaling has not resulted in the containment of the insurgency."

The insurgency has also driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in a region where most people live in abject poverty.  Analysts say extreme poverty drives the insurgency, because the huge population of unemployed young people provides ideal recruits for violent extremists.
 
Anti-terrorism strategy
 
On Friday Jonathan also promised to improve northern Nigeria's economy as part of his anti-terrorism strategy.
 
"We are looking at various economic issues to improve the welfare of citizens in the whole country and especially in the northeast because of this terror incident," he said.

The mass kidnapping in April sparked international outrage and politicians from a number of countries, including the United States, Britain, France, China, Israel and Iran pledged to help find the girls.
 
But like Nigerian strategies to find the girls and fight the insurgency, international strategies are, for the most part, not made public.  Officials say for security reasons, they cannot say exactly what is being done.

Ubale Musa contributed to this report from the Statehouse is Abuja.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid