Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nigeria: Update--200 Residents Murdered by Boko Haram in Borno, Extremists Impersonated Nigerian Soldiers

According to The Associated Press, Boko Haram militants dressed as Nigerian soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three villages in northeastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent, witnesses said on Thursday (May 5).

A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday (June 2) said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but no help was apparently dispatched. The killings occurred in Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara.

The militants arrived in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks, commonly used by the Nigerian military, and told the civilians they were soldiers "and we are here to protect you all," the same tactic used by the group when they kidnapped more than 300 girls from a school in the town of Chibok on April 15.

After people gathered in the center on orders from the militants, "they begin to shout 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar' at the top of their voices...and then proceeded to fire endlessly at the civilians until all that had gathered were dead," said the witness who didn't want to be named for fear of his safety.

COMMENT: At the moment, Boko Haram seemingly is running circles around the Nigerian government, to no avail.

It took days for Nigerians to learn of the mass-casualty slaughter, largely because of the lack of communications.

It is unknown, precisely, as to what success foreign advisers are having in their initial effort to rescue 300 school-girls abducted en-mass on April 15, yet if they have had no success in the course of a month, they may well be inhibited in having success, largely because of the constraints placed on them by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Considering that President Jonathan is quickly becoming part of the problem rather than the solution, it seems clear that the foreign advisers should seriously consider leaving Nigeria given the status-quo, otherwise they will soon be blamed for their lack of success.

When the foreign advisers of the UK, US, France, China, Israel and INTERPOL deployed, "I said to myself, well-intentioned as this mission may be, it will fail not because of the advisers, but because of the constraints placed on them by the Nigerian government."

It is apparent to even a child that the Nigerian government is apparently incapable of protecting its own citizens from Boko Haram.

The high-casualty slaughter was confirmed by both Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno and whose hometown is in Gwoza. 

Militants of Boko Haram, which wants to establish sharia law in Nigeria, have been taking over villages in the northeast, killing and terrorizing civilians and political leaders as the Islamic fighters make a comeback from a year-long military offensive aimed at crushing them. 

The death toll from Monday's (June 2) attacks is among the highest. Thousands of people have been killed in the 5-year-old insurgency, more than 2,000 so far just this year. 

An estimated 750,000 Nigerians have been driven from their homes.

Nigeria's military has insisted that the big influx of troops and a year-old state of emergency in three states which gives them the power to detain suspects, take over buildings and lock down any area has the extremists on the run.

The state of emergency is obviously failing miserably. 

Hence, it is "insane" to repeat strategies that have been ineffective in the past and "expect" different results.

The villages attacked on Monday are in the Gwoza local government, a regional political center whose emir was killed in a Boko Haram ambush on his convoy last week. Emirs are religious and traditional rulers who have been targeted for speaking out against Boko Haram's extremism.