News / Africa

Nigerian Security Hunts Attackers Who Killed More Than 100

In this image made from television provided by the state-run Nigerian Television Authority, corpses are seen laid out following a series of coordinated attacks, Damatura, Nigeria, November 6, 2001.
In this image made from television provided by the state-run Nigerian Television Authority, corpses are seen laid out following a series of coordinated attacks, Damatura, Nigeria, November 6, 2001.

Nigerian security forces are searching for attackers who killed more than 100 people in a series of bombings and shootings across northern states this past week. 

The coordinated attacks on police stations, churches, and an army base in small towns across northern Nigeria are being blamed on the Islamic sect Boko Haram. The sect claimed responsibility for the August bombing of the U.N. headquarters in the capital Abuja.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says it is fighting for a separate Sharia-led nation in northern Nigeria and recognizes neither the federal constitution nor the authority of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Earlier this year, President Jonathan appointed a committee to look into the violence. That committee recommended opening talks with Boko Haram, but only after it renounces all forms of violence and surrenders its arms. Boko Haram has refused previous negotiation offers because of what it says is a military build-up in northern states.

Nigerian human rights activist Shehu Sani has written extensively on Boko Haram and has interviewed many of its top leaders. He says the government's use of force against the group unites its disparate elements.

“At the beginning, there was some form of ideological difference within the members of the group," said Sani. "But later I think they were able to cement their differences on the ground that they knew that their future and their fate is tied together.”

Sani says the government must now understand that approaching Boko Haram exclusively as a security threat will not end the violence.

“The continuous bombing and killing that is going on is a clear indication of the failure of the use of force,” said Sani.

Sani says the government should address the broader social factors that contribute to Boko Haram's appeal. Among them are high unemployment and the belief that security forces operate with impunity, especially concerning the death of Boko Haram's leader in police custody in 2009.

“The violence is most likely going to continue in the sense that the government is too favorable to the idea of the use of force," added Sani. "And this has been the case since 2009. And it has not produced anything other than the continued loss of lives.”

The Obama administration says it is helping President Jonathan's government track Boko Haram financing through a program established after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The U.S. Treasury Department says that tracking program is aiding investigations into the October 2010 Independence Day bombings in the Nigerian capital.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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