Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nigeria: Update--Boko Haram Fighters Reportedly Kidnap 60 More Girls, 31 Boys in Northeast

According to The Associated Press, Islamic extremists of Boko Haram have reportedly abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys from villages in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said Tuesday (June 24).

Security forces denied the kidnappings, although Nigeria's government fails to have any more credibility than the government of Malaysia.

There was no way to safely and independently confirm the report from Kummabza, 150 kilometers (95 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and headquarters of a military state of emergency that has failed to curtail near-daily attacks by Boko Haram fighters.

Kummabza resident Aji Khalil said Tuesday that the en-mass abductions occurred on  Saturday (June 21) in an attack in which four villagers were killed. Khalil is a member of one of the vigilante groups that have had some success in repelling Boko Haram attacks with very primitive weapons.

COMMENT: Interestingly, no public statements have been made by any of the foreign governments who responded to Nigeria's call for help in May to search for the 219 missing schoolgirls. Strange.

Increasingly, it strikes me as strange that all governments engage in creative fiction. Is telling the truth really that hard?

It is still unknown as to whether the foreign advisers who came to Nigeria's aid in early May are still there...or have quietly returned home. Bizarre.

A strategy to rescue the school-girls has seemingly become a "non-starter."

Politics have further complicated the issue, with many distracted by upcoming presidential elections in February 2015. 

Nigeria's First Lady, Patience Jonathan, and some other supporters have claimed the reports of the April 15 abductions of the schoolgirls were manufactured to discredit her husband's government.

The childless parents of the April 15 group would probably suggest otherwise.

Last week, a presidential committee investigating the kidnappings stressed that the en-mass kidnappings of the children did in fact occur and clarified the number of students who have been kidnapped. 

It said there were 395 students at the school, 119 escaped during the siege of the school, another 57 escaped in the first couple of days of their abduction, leaving 219 unaccounted for.

On Monday (June 23), an explosion at a medical college in the northern city of Kano killed at least eight people and wounded 12, police said. It was the third bomb blast in four months in Kano, Nigeria's second city.

Also on Saturday, the same day as the latest abductions, scores of Boko Haram fighters attacked four other villages, near Chibok town from which the 219 unaccounted girls were originally abducted.

Boko Haram emerged five years ago  from an Islamic sect preaching against the corruption that keeps most Nigerians impoverished, despite their country's oil wealth into a violent movement that wants to enforce sharia law across Nigeria, though half the country's 170 million people are Christians.

Thus far in 2014,  more than 2,000 people have been killed.