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 Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid