Baga, Nigeria – Boko Haram

A girl rubs her eye beside her father in an IDP camp, that was set up for Nigerians fleeing the violence committed against them by Boko Haram militants, at Wurojuli

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather stated: “This weekend saw an inspiring and moving display of international solidarity in the wake of the Paris shootings,” she said, “but while we were watching the horror unfold in Paris, hundreds or possibly thousands of civilians were slaughtered by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, with very little international attention.”

Saturday’s suicide bombing elicited little coverage compared to the events in Paris, which have dominated headlines since last Wednesday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper. Why the slaughter of 17 innocents in France receives more attention than the death of roughly the same number of Nigerians is the kind of question that can result in accusations of indifference, racism, and media bias.

The attacks came five weeks before presidential elections, which are expected to trigger more bloodshed. The UN estimates more than 1.5 million people have been displaced by the insurgency.

The military said the massacre was Boko Haram’s deadliest in its five-year insurgency, but it added that the reports of 2,000 dead “cannot be true”. It suggested they were part of a smear campaign. “From all available evidence, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim. This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms,” army spokesman Chris Olukolade said, adding that there were ongoing ground and air offensives to retake the town.

Last year, around 27 Nigerians died each day from Boko Haram-related violence. Now the first march for Baga victims is being organised in Paris, where 1 million people poured on to the streets after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

In solidarity with the lives taken – #IamNigeria

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More Than 60 Girls, Women Escape Boko Haram

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In Nigeria, more than 60 girls and women have reportedly escaped from the Islamist group Boko Haram after they were kidnapped two weeks ago in the northeastern state of Borno. More than 200 schoolgirls previously kidnapped by Boko Haram in April still remain missing.

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/8/headlines#783

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Nigerian Official Says Location of Missing Girls Known

Nigerian Official Says Location of Missing Girls Known

A top military official in Nigeria has said officials have located the nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, but will not risk going in with force to attempt a rescue. Air Marshal Alex Badeh reportedly made the remarks in the capital Abuja as demonstrators there rallied to demand the girls’ return. They have been missing for six weeks. U.S. military specialists have been participating in the search. Over the weekend, Nigeria was rocked by further violence, including an attack by gunmen in the northeast that killed 20 people at a market.

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/27/headlines#5272

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Bring Our Girls Back

Bring Our Girls Back

Via http://www.democracynow.org

The Nigerian government has reversed its rejection of talks with Boko Haram militants on freeing the nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls held captive for more than a month. On Tuesday, Nigerian Special Duties Minister Taminu Turaki said he is open to negotiations, including over the girls’ fate. The Nigerian government had previously dismissed an apparent offer from the Boko Haram to free the girls in return for the government’s release of the group’s jailed members. In Washington, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed U.S. forces are flying surveillance planes over Nigeria in a bid to find the girls. Carney also voiced opposition to ransom talks with the Boko Haram, but said the United States will follow Nigeria’s lead.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “We’re focused on working with the Nigerian government to locate and bring home those girls. That includes a team of individuals that I itemized yesterday. It also includes manned reconnaissance flights that I can confirm we are conducting in cooperation with the Nigerian government. When it comes to the approach to Boko Haram in this case, Nigeria of course has the lead, and we play a supporting role. It is the policy of the United States to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts, and that includes ransoms or concessions.”

Daily protests continue in Nigeria for the girls’ return. In Lagos, women’s rights activist Joei Odumakin vowed to march on the town where the girls were seized if they are not returned safely.

Joei Odumakin: “The girls must be rescued now, and that should be done while they are still alive. And that is the essence of this protest, and that’s why all of us are gathered here. And we are kickstarting with Lagos on Tuesday. We are moving to the east on Wednesday. That’s Enugu. Wednesday, we’ll be in Lokoja. Thursday, we’ll be in Onitsha, Onitsha and Kaduna. We are going to be in Jigawa. At the end of 14 days of the nationwide protests, if nothing is done, God forbid, all of us are going to protest half-naked inside Chibok. We are going there, and we are ready to lay down our lives.”

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Headline: Nigeria Rejects Prisoner Swap with Boko Haram

Headline: Nigeria Rejects Prisoner Swap with Boko Haram

The Nigerian government has already rejected a Boko Haram proposal to free the girls in return for the release of the militant group’s prisoners. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau floated the offer in a video on Monday.

Abubakar Shekau: “By Allah, these girls will not leave our hands until you release our brothers in your prison. You took our brothers four or five years ago, and now they are in your prisons. You do many things, and now you talk of these girls. We will not let them go until you release our brothers. We will not let them go until you release our brothers.”

The Boko Haram’s video showed close to half of the nearly 300 missing girls. It was the first public image of the kidnapped schoolgirls since their abduction nearly one month ago.

Via: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/13/headlines

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Hundreds March in Nigeria to Demand Rescue of Kidnapped Schoolgirls

Hundreds March in Nigeria to Demand Rescue of Kidnapped Schoolgirls

Hundreds of people marched in Nigeria on Tuesday to press for a greater response to a mass kidnapping of young girls. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram is suspected of abducting about 230 schoolgirls during a night raid in a northeastern area two weeks ago. Some managed to escape, but more than 200 remain missing. Dubbed by organizers a “Million Woman March,” the demonstrators carried signs reading “Bring Back Our Girls.”

Halita Aliyu: “I personally believe that not enough is being done to rescue our daughters. Please recollect like two, three months ago, 25 girls were abducted from Konduga. Because the nation has not risen in unison to do something about those 25 girls abducted in Konduga, it is now possible to abduct another 200-plus. Next time, maybe it will be more. Each and every one of us needs to do something to arrest the unpleasant developments that are happening in the country, especially in the northeast.”

A local human rights group is claiming the girls have been sold off, forced to marry their abductors, and taken across the border to Cameroon and Chad. The report has not been verified. The mass kidnapping is seen as one of the most shocking attacks in the Boko Haram’s five-year militant campaign, which has left thousands of people dead.

Via @ http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/1/headlines
Video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqLZIYchPUs