News / Africa

Nigeria Makes More Boko Haram Arrests

Soldiers stand behind items recovered from suspected Boko Haram members, Bukavu Barracks in Kano, Nigeria, March 21, 2012 (file photo).
Soldiers stand behind items recovered from suspected Boko Haram members, Bukavu Barracks in Kano, Nigeria, March 21, 2012 (file photo).
VOA News
Nigeria's military says it has arrested another 49 members of the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.
 
The military said Wednesday it captured the suspected militants in Yobe, one of three northeastern states placed under emergency rule as part of a military offensive against the group.
 
The military says it has captured more than 150 Boko Haram members since it launched the offensive last month.
 
Its claims of success have been impossible to verify because of downed phone networks and restricted access to the conflict zone.
 
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has formally declared Boko Haram and its suspected splinter group Ansaru to be outlawed terrorist organizations.
 
Nigerian authorities say Ansaru is responsible for kidnapping and killing Westerners. The group is believed to have ties to al-Qaida's North African wing, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
 
The terrorist designation allows the government to impose prison sentences of a minimum of 20 years on group members or supporters.
 
Boko Haram launched its uprising in 2009. The shadowy group wants to impose Islamic law in northern Nigeria. Human Rights Watch says more than 3,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram-related violence, including hundreds of killings by military forces fighting the group.
 
According to Peter Pham, head of the Central Africa program the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based international security think tank, the Nigerian government's crackdown may not be effective at ending longtime unrest in the north.
 
"The state of emergency in three northern states ... inflames the population because the insurgents are hidden among the population," Pham recently said during an interview with Voice of America’s Encounter. "No doubt the military has killed some insurgents but, in the process, there are extremely credible reports that they are also killing innocent civilians as well, and that's not going to win hearts and minds, which is the key of any counter-insurgency."
 
Pham says the clashes between government forces and militants have also created a refugee crisis in the region, with thousands of Nigerians fleeing into neighboring Niger.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs