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

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid