Showing posts tagged as "nigeria"

Showing posts tagged nigeria

16 Jul
Nigerian Troops Say Corruption Saps Will to Fight Islamists | Ibrahim Abdul’Aziz and Dulue Mbachu
When Islamist militants raided the northeastern Nigerian village of Izghe, killing 90 people, some government troops dropped their weapons, stripped off their uniforms and fled in civilian clothes, according to two soldiers who were at the scene.
The soldiers said the troops were angry their monthly pay had been cut in half to 15,000 naira ($92) without explanation, heightening their belief that money meant for them and their front-line fight against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram was being siphoned off by officials in Abuja, the capital.
“Somebody is sitting comfortably in Abuja stealing our money, and we are here facing Boko Haram fire every day,” Shu’aibu, a lance corporal, said in a June 11 interview in Yola, capital of Adamawa state. He spoke on the condition that his surname wasn’t published because he’s not authorized to comment.
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: UNAMID/flickr

Nigerian Troops Say Corruption Saps Will to Fight Islamists | Ibrahim Abdul’Aziz and Dulue Mbachu

When Islamist militants raided the northeastern Nigerian village of Izghe, killing 90 people, some government troops dropped their weapons, stripped off their uniforms and fled in civilian clothes, according to two soldiers who were at the scene.

The soldiers said the troops were angry their monthly pay had been cut in half to 15,000 naira ($92) without explanation, heightening their belief that money meant for them and their front-line fight against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram was being siphoned off by officials in Abuja, the capital.

“Somebody is sitting comfortably in Abuja stealing our money, and we are here facing Boko Haram fire every day,” Shu’aibu, a lance corporal, said in a June 11 interview in Yola, capital of Adamawa state. He spoke on the condition that his surname wasn’t published because he’s not authorized to comment.

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: UNAMID/flickr

27 Jun
Fear Grips Nigeria Capital After Attack in City Centre | AFP
Abuja:  A bombing blamed on Boko Haram in the heart of Nigeria’s capital raised fears on Thursday of a worsening Islamist insurgency, with the security forces struggling to prevent attacks in remote villages and near the seat of government.
Wednesday’s blast, which killed at least 21 people, shook the crowded Emab Plaza in downtown Abuja during the afternoon rush as shoppers were buying groceries an hour ahead of the country’s World Cup match against Argentina.
The explosions struck “a very prominent street and it sends a very loud message”, said Nnamdi Obasi, Nigeria researcher at the International Crisis Group. “The message is that everywhere in the city is vulnerable.” cited as causes of the tragedy.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse)
Photo: theglobalpanorama/flickr

Fear Grips Nigeria Capital After Attack in City Centre | AFP

Abuja:  A bombing blamed on Boko Haram in the heart of Nigeria’s capital raised fears on Thursday of a worsening Islamist insurgency, with the security forces struggling to prevent attacks in remote villages and near the seat of government.

Wednesday’s blast, which killed at least 21 people, shook the crowded Emab Plaza in downtown Abuja during the afternoon rush as shoppers were buying groceries an hour ahead of the country’s World Cup match against Argentina.

The explosions struck “a very prominent street and it sends a very loud message”, said Nnamdi Obasi, Nigeria researcher at the International Crisis Group. “The message is that everywhere in the city is vulnerable.” cited as causes of the tragedy.

FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse)

Photo: theglobalpanorama/flickr

3 Jun
How Obama Thinks About Counterterrorism | David Rohde
In a foreign-policy address last week, President Obama gave his clearest outline yet of his counterterrorism strategy. Al-Qaeda splinter groups remain the largest threat to the United States, he said, but Washington must respond to it in a new way: by training local security forces, not deploying American ground troops.
“We have to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat—one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin, or stir up local resentments,” Obama said. “We need partners to fight terrorists alongside us.”
But critics say America’s past efforts to train local security forces have had mixed results. Washington has a poor track record of applying the long-term resources, funding, and attention needed to carry out such efforts successfully. In Libya, training by U.S. Special Forces soldiers was suspended after a local militia stole a cache of American-provided weapons. In Mali, American-trained military officers carried out a coup. And in Afghanistan, the United States failed to mount a major training effort until nine years after the fall of the Taliban.
FULL ARTICLE (The Atlantic)
Photo: cmccain202dc/flickr

How Obama Thinks About Counterterrorism | David Rohde

In a foreign-policy address last week, President Obama gave his clearest outline yet of his counterterrorism strategy. Al-Qaeda splinter groups remain the largest threat to the United States, he said, but Washington must respond to it in a new way: by training local security forces, not deploying American ground troops.

“We have to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat—one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin, or stir up local resentments,” Obama said. “We need partners to fight terrorists alongside us.”

But critics say America’s past efforts to train local security forces have had mixed results. Washington has a poor track record of applying the long-term resources, funding, and attention needed to carry out such efforts successfully. In Libya, training by U.S. Special Forces soldiers was suspended after a local militia stole a cache of American-provided weapons. In Mali, American-trained military officers carried out a coup. And in Afghanistan, the United States failed to mount a major training effort until nine years after the fall of the Taliban.

FULL ARTICLE (The Atlantic)

Photo: cmccain202dc/flickr

30 May
Nigeria President Vows Full Scale Offensive Against Boko Haram | Philip J. Victor
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued strong words for the armed group that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls last month, vowing on Thursday that the government would do everything possible to bring the girls home.
"I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism," he said, later adding that "the menace of Boko Haram will surely come to an end."
Despite the declarations of strength, Jonathan’s speech was short on specifics. He failed to mention how his government would work to rescue the abducted girls. And he did not mention how the military plans to tackle Boko Haram, even as 35 people were reportedly killed Thursday in the northeastern state of Borno, which is seen as the heart of the five-year insurgency that has killed thousands, including over 2,000 so far this year. 
“It is now 45 days since the horrifying abduction of the college girls of Chibok,” Jonathan said. “I share the deep pain and anxiety of their parents and guardians, and I assure them once again that government will continue to do everything possible to bring our daughters home.”
Some experts, however, say it’s not entirely clear what can be done. Jonathan’s speech, they say, was meant to simply assuage the public. 
FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)
Photo: World Economic Forum/flickr

Nigeria President Vows Full Scale Offensive Against Boko Haram | Philip J. Victor

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued strong words for the armed group that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls last month, vowing on Thursday that the government would do everything possible to bring the girls home.

"I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism," he said, later adding that "the menace of Boko Haram will surely come to an end."

Despite the declarations of strength, Jonathan’s speech was short on specifics. He failed to mention how his government would work to rescue the abducted girls. And he did not mention how the military plans to tackle Boko Haram, even as 35 people were reportedly killed Thursday in the northeastern state of Borno, which is seen as the heart of the five-year insurgency that has killed thousands, including over 2,000 so far this year. 

“It is now 45 days since the horrifying abduction of the college girls of Chibok,” Jonathan said. “I share the deep pain and anxiety of their parents and guardians, and I assure them once again that government will continue to do everything possible to bring our daughters home.”

Some experts, however, say it’s not entirely clear what can be done. Jonathan’s speech, they say, was meant to simply assuage the public. 

FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)

Photo: World Economic Forum/flickr

15 May
Nigeria’s insurgency has to be tackled at the roots | Comfort Ero
Comfort Ero is Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. The full version of this article can be read at Financial Times.
The kidnapping nearly a month ago of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state is not only a tragedy in itself but also a timely reminder of a growing threat.
Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the abductions, is in the fifth year of an insurgency that has cost at least 4,000 lives and displaced half a million people. About 1,500 have been killed this year alone; the group has also started popping up in neighbouring countries.
In the early days Boko Haram eschewed violence, and aimed to create a strict Islamic state in the north. After years of increasing hostility towards the government, the sect launched an armed insurgency in 2009. To begin with it targeted state security services to avenge, it said, the killings of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and other comrades in an uprising in December 2009. In parallel, the group has assassinated politicians whom it accused of corruption and bad governance.
FULL ARTICLE (Financial Times)
Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr

Nigeria’s insurgency has to be tackled at the roots | Comfort Ero

Comfort Ero is Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. The full version of this article can be read at Financial Times.

The kidnapping nearly a month ago of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state is not only a tragedy in itself but also a timely reminder of a growing threat.

Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the abductions, is in the fifth year of an insurgency that has cost at least 4,000 lives and displaced half a million people. About 1,500 have been killed this year alone; the group has also started popping up in neighbouring countries.

In the early days Boko Haram eschewed violence, and aimed to create a strict Islamic state in the north. After years of increasing hostility towards the government, the sect launched an armed insurgency in 2009. To begin with it targeted state security services to avenge, it said, the killings of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and other comrades in an uprising in December 2009. In parallel, the group has assassinated politicians whom it accused of corruption and bad governance.

FULL ARTICLE (Financial Times)

Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr

13 May
#BringBackOurGirls Wields Power, But for Good or Bad? | Lisa De Bode
A Nigerian lawyer with fewer than 1,000 followers on Twitter kickstarted #BringBackOurGirls, the social media campaign urging the safe return of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls. That one tweet has since morphed into a global rallying cry — unifying voices as diverse as the Washington elite, Nigerian activists and a girlfriend-beating celebrity.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama have called on the Nigerian government to bring the girls home. A few U.S. senators have, again, urged the U.S. government to pass the International Violence Against Women Act, and Nigerian activists decried the failure of their nation-state. The hashtag even found its way to the Twitter feed of singer Chris Brown, who was found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.
At best, these individuals and groups are taking ownership of the well-being of the missing girls, whose fates now lie in the hands of violent rebel group Boko Haram. At worst, experts say, they may be bolstering political motives — and advocating for a military intervention — that would exacerbate the situation that led to the crisis in the first place.
FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)
Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr

#BringBackOurGirls Wields Power, But for Good or Bad? | Lisa De Bode

A Nigerian lawyer with fewer than 1,000 followers on Twitter kickstarted #BringBackOurGirls, the social media campaign urging the safe return of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls. That one tweet has since morphed into a global rallying cry — unifying voices as diverse as the Washington elite, Nigerian activists and a girlfriend-beating celebrity.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama have called on the Nigerian government to bring the girls home. A few U.S. senators have, again, urged the U.S. government to pass the International Violence Against Women Act, and Nigerian activists decried the failure of their nation-state. The hashtag even found its way to the Twitter feed of singer Chris Brown, who was found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.

At best, these individuals and groups are taking ownership of the well-being of the missing girls, whose fates now lie in the hands of violent rebel group Boko Haram. At worst, experts say, they may be bolstering political motives — and advocating for a military intervention — that would exacerbate the situation that led to the crisis in the first place.

FULL ARTICLE (Al Jazeera)

Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr

12 May
Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection | Eli Lake
Some intelligence analysts believe that Osama bin Laden provided everything from seed money to strategic direction to the now-infamous Nigerian terror group.
In 2002, Osama bin Laden dispatched an aide to Nigeria to hand out $3 million in local currency to a wide array of Salafist political organizations there that shared al Qaeda’s goal of imposing Islamic rule.
According to an overlooked report from a well-respected international watchdog, one of those organizations was Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit that’s become globally infamous for its threat to sell girls into slavery. In other words, bin Laden helped provide Boko Haram’s seed money, this report maintains.
Officially, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that the group has only tangential links to al Qaeda’s north African affiliate, and that reports of bin Laden backing the Nigerian outfit are off-base. But inside the secret state, many analysts believe that the ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda global leadership go much deeper—and are about more than a little seed money.
FULL ARTICLE (The Daily Beast)
Photo: ManilaRyce/flickr

Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection | Eli Lake

Some intelligence analysts believe that Osama bin Laden provided everything from seed money to strategic direction to the now-infamous Nigerian terror group.

In 2002, Osama bin Laden dispatched an aide to Nigeria to hand out $3 million in local currency to a wide array of Salafist political organizations there that shared al Qaeda’s goal of imposing Islamic rule.

According to an overlooked report from a well-respected international watchdog, one of those organizations was Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit that’s become globally infamous for its threat to sell girls into slavery. In other words, bin Laden helped provide Boko Haram’s seed money, this report maintains.

Officially, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that the group has only tangential links to al Qaeda’s north African affiliate, and that reports of bin Laden backing the Nigerian outfit are off-base. But inside the secret state, many analysts believe that the ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda global leadership go much deeper—and are about more than a little seed money.

FULL ARTICLE (The Daily Beast)

Photo: ManilaRyce/flickr

7 May

Africa director Comfort Ero appeared on MSNBC last night to discuss Nigeria, Boko Haram and the hundreds of abducted schoolgirls.

6 May
Catch Africa director Comfort Ero on NBC Nightly News tonight with the latest on Boko Haram and the hundreds of missing Nigerian girls. Read more about Boko Haram with our latest report.

Catch Africa director Comfort Ero on NBC Nightly News tonight with the latest on Boko Haram and the hundreds of missing Nigerian girls. Read more about Boko Haram with our latest report.

1 May
LINK

Crisis Watch No. 129

Check out this month’s issue of Crisis Watch as an interactive map. Conflict situations deteriorated in Ukraine, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia while conditions improved in Lebanon. A Conflict Risk Alert was issued for Ukraine.