Do Nigerians Matter to World Press? – 2,000 feared dead in Boko Haram Attacks

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Commondreams.org

As many as 2,000 people are feared dead in Nigeria from what has been described as Boko Haram’s deadliest attack amid ongoing bloodshed a UN official says “should be searing the conscience of the world.”

The militant group reportedly carried out attacks starting January 3 on the northern town of Baga and neighboring villages, razing more than a dozen communities and forcing residents to flee for their lives.

Musa Bukar, head of the Kukawa local government area, stated that Boko Haram “burnt to the ground all the 16 towns and villages, including Baga, Doron-Baga, Mile 4, Mile 3, Kauyen Kuros and Bunduram.”

Observers have said that giving an exact death toll is near impossible, though an estimate of 2,000 was “credible.”

A week after the bloodshed, the scene is still grim. CNN reports Monday that “bodies still littered the bushes in the area.”

Borye Kime, a fisherman from Dubuwa village who had fled to Chad, told AFP Monday: “It is corpses everywhere. The whole town smells of decomposing bodies.” He added that Boko Haram had “set up barricades in strategic locations in the town.”

Some of those who attempted to flee eastward drowned in Lake Chad in their attempts to seek refuge; others remain stranded on an island facing lack of shelter, the threat of hippos and malaria. Over 7,000 others have fled to Chad since the beginning of the month, part of an exodus of tens of thousands as a result of the conflict, the UN refugee agency says.

Human rights organization Amnesty International has said that the Baga area attacks may be the deadliest Boko Haram has carried out.

“The attack on Baga and surrounding towns, looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act in a catalogue of increasingly heinous attacks carried out by the group. If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as two thousand civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International, said in a statement issued Friday.

Deadly attacks continued this weekend. Up to 20 people were killed when explosives strapped to a girl believed to be 10-years-old went off Saturday at a market in Maiduguri. A similar incident involving two young girls strapped with explosives took place Sunday in the town of Potiskum, killing three people. Boko Haram is suspected of being behind the attacks.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said of the escalating violence: “These images from Northern Nigeria should be searing the conscience of the world.”

Though the number feared dead in this latest series of attacks, even the lower estimates, dwarfs the number killed in the recent terror attacks in Paris, the attacks in Nigeria have failed to garner the same kind of media attention, some have noted.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos in central Nigeria said that the kind of unity shown in the wake of the Paris attacks needs to be expressed for Boko Haram’s attacks as well. “We need that spirit to be spread around,” he said. “Not just when [an attack] happens in Europe, but when it happens in Nigeria, in Niger, in Cameroon.”

Via Commondreams.org

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Related video added by Juan:

CNN: “Boko Haram’s deadliest massacre”

5 Responses

  1. moden

    shouldn’t we ask do African lives matter to the world press? #BokoHaram killing thousands nothing to french people dying…sad!

  2. Hundreds of comments, tweets and re-tweets about 12 dead @Charlie, apparently because it happened in a “civilized country?” Zero here, so far, about more than 2,000 people murdered (this time) by Gunmen. The Great AFRICOM US Global Battlespace Operation apparently is not calibrated to “do something” about Boko Haram or other Bad Dudes in most of Africa, though “our” Generals are sure on the case. And “the world,” which should be having its conscience seared, appears more interested in organized looting of African resources that a lot of horribly dead ordinary people. link to theguardian.com, and link to google.com

    Context on Boko Haram? “Paying for terrorism: Where does Boko Haram gets its money from?” link to independent.co.uk

    “The US” is apparently helpless to “unfund” Boko (and apparently ISIS too): “How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” link to reuters.com

    Going with the personification meme, it seems what passes for the “Nigerian government” is unhappy with us: “Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria fury over US arms refusal,” link to bbc.com

    But it seems that a lot of reliably corrupt Nigerian military types are happy to “leave the armory doors open” or outright sell those weapons, that “we” are happy to sell to “the government,” to the Gunmen of Boko: “Boko Haram’s Source Of Weapons Revealed,” link to naij.com

    And of course the darker parts of the Bigger World are all over this: “Small Arms and Light Weapons: Controlling the Real Instruments of War,” link to armscontrol.org

    Because after all, it’s just a “market opportunity” for nominal US corporations and our government’s sneaky-petes: “Inside the Murky World of International Arms Smuggling”
    link to americanfreepress.net , and link to pbs.org

    And our Big Banks are happy to be of exquisite assistance: “Nigeria: Boko Haram – Falana Gives FG Ultimatum Over U.S.$1 Billion Loan for Weapons”
    link to uncova.com
    All so that a bunch of unrestrained Gunmen in the outbacks of Africa can bring horror and sorrow to the ordinary people they are positioned to prey on…

    And the beat goes on: link to pbs.org and on, on many different “fronts:” Syria, link to stratfor.com, and “everywhere,” link to independent.co.uk

    • Hey JT, I love your comments, but you should take another look at mine on the torture issue at link to juancole.com. I did not know of your angry response in time to clarify.

      I was carefully debunking all of the nasty abuses of torture rationales that you thought I was supporting. My comment was to indicate that I want to see an ironclad set of boundaries to torture in the vanishingly rare exceptional case where the public would consider it quite necessary, because that is the case claimed by those who pretend to have cause for torture. I said that because if we establish such boundaries we can prohibit torture in every non-valid case (which may very well turn out to be every case) and thus end the charade under which it is practiced.

      I do not support torture at all. But as an engineer, I know that if every logical corner is not examined, a computer (or a large complex world) will quickly find the sloppy corner, and we shall be back at square one.

      But if there is no ironclad boundary, whose violation all can see, then the simplification of absolute prohibition must suffice, and we will have to expect violations when the public demands an exception. Certainly it is out of control.

  3. This only confirms the stark uneasy truth that racism is always the deciding factor for any opinion in Europe and the WEST. The west has to be always first.

  4. Want to see how Nigerians, and Sierra Leonese, and Ghanaians, and Burundians and the rest of non-neoliberal-“Elilte” Africa matter to the rest of the world? A very quick history lesson on how things got to where they are and are going is in this short work by Patrick Bond, “Looting Africa: the Economics of Exploitation,” link to google.com . Not perfect, the subject is too huge, but a lot of useful context distilled into a single source.

    Pay no attention to those oligarchs and kleptocrats that are picking your pockets, robbing your bank accounts, stealing your “home and castle…”

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