News / Africa

    Nigeria Sees Bloodiest Year of Boko Haram Attacks

    Nigeria Sees Bloodiest Year of Boko Haram Attacksi
    X
    December 20, 2012 7:54 PM
    The Nigerian militant Islamist sect Boko Haram is blamed for more than 750 deaths in 2012, making it the group's bloodiest year, with attacks on churches, schools, government buildings, media centers, markets, security forces and communications networks. Heather Murdock reports for VOA from Abuja on the escalation of violence, failed peace talks, and the group’s international aspirations.
    Nigeria Sees Bloodiest Year of Boko Haram Attacks
    Heather Murdock
    The Nigerian militant Islamist sect Boko Haram is blamed for more than 750 deaths in 2012, making it the group's bloodiest year, with attacks on churches, schools, government buildings, media centers, markets, security forces and communications networks. 
     
    The building was the office of ThisDay, a prominent Nigerian newspaper.  While a suicide bomber rammed a car into the building, an accomplice stood by with a camera, later posting the destruction on YouTube.
     
    Rosemary Ufayo Lawani was working at her store nearby when she heard the blast.  Her building shook and she saw flames and smoke.  Since then, she says she has been kept afraid by constant news of bombings, executions and gunmen firing at civilians.
     
    She said, "We are afraid because we think 'anytime.'  We are not really sleeping with our two eyes closed.  Everybody is sleeping with one eye, thinking, 'Where is going to be the next place to attack?'"
     
    At the beginning of the year, the group boasted ties to al-Qaida, but many people thought Boko Haram was inflating its image.  But after so many attacks in 2012, analysts generally agree that Boko Haram has operational ties with other militant groups, like al-Qaida, al-Shabab and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
     
    Clement Nwankwo, executive director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center in Nigeria, says that if Boko Haram joins forces with Islamist militants controlling most of Mali, governments across West Africa could be in danger.
     
    “It’s an international problem.  I think that if the Nigerian government were to be serious about curtailing this, then it would actually need to work with the various international moves to end terrorism - not just in Africa, but worldwide," he said. 
      
    Boko Haram communicates with the public through YouTube, blocked telephone lines and hard to trace emails.  At least twice this year, the government has reported that the group's “spokesperson” was killed.  Boko Haram says he is still alive.
     
    Sa’ad Abdulmumin, a Muslim missionary, says Boko Haram attacks are inflaming sectarian violence that has killed thousands of people during the past decade.
     
    “It has segmented the people of religions into cleavages between the Christians and the Muslims, and it has generated the hatred and animosity.”
     
    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the United States, which has classified three Boko Haram members as international terrorists, to help Nigeria find “lasting solutions to these problems.” 

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Maury Joseph from: Florida, USA
    December 20, 2012 11:34 PM
    Clear & realistic appraisal, but perhaps Goodluck should take the Lead, rather than ask the USA for help. Indeed the USA should be asking, "Where has Nigeria been when others were suffering from what now begins to infect Nigeria?

    by: kf from: abv
    December 20, 2012 6:14 PM
    pls focus your attention on the gun violence that takes place in your country. Boko haram does not define nigeria

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora