Friday, August 15, 2014

Nigeria: Dozens of Boys, Men Kidnapped by Boko Haram in Norheast, Abductees Total 47

According to Reuters, suspected Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeastern Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said on Friday (August 15).

The kidnappings came four months after Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok. Eighty-five percent of the girls remain missing.

"The fighters were shouting "Allah Akbar" (God is greatest) and shooting sporadically into the air. There was confusion everywhere. They started putting our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whomever disobeyed them. Everybody was scared."

COMMENT: Boko Haram, seen as the number one security threat to Africa's top economy and oil producer, has dramatically increased attacks on civilians in the past year, and what began as a grassroots movement has rapidly lost popular support as it becomes more brutal in its tactics.

Kidnapping boys and men and releasing them for ransom and abducting girls and women as sex slaves continues to be the group's dominant means of generating funds, yet armed robbery of ammunition, explosives, trucks, armored vehicles is also included in its various profit centers.

Great Britain and the US have offered help to try to find the missing Chibok girls, but there has little in the form of success.

He said that from his Hadeija clan alone, some 47 people were missing and feared to have been abducted.

Nigerian forces are overstretched against a determined, highly mobile and resilent army that appears to be growing in numbers.