13 May 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram's Attacks Place Heavy Burden On Neighbors

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram attack.

Nigeria's president is seeking for a six month extension of a state of emergency to battle Boko Haram insurgents.The request follows an increasing security threat posed by the group to Nigeria and the region.

A state of emergency was declared in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in May last year and extended in November.

In a letter to parliament President Goodluck Jonathan wrote, "The security situation in the three states remains daunting albeit to varying degrees, in the face of persistent attacks by members of the Boko Haram sects on civilian and military targets with alarming casualty rates."

All over Nigeria, the Boko Haram group has spread fear and terror among the population. But their power base in the north east of the country threatens the peace in neighboring Cameroon and Niger.

Nigeria's northeast is in the grip of the Islamists. With ever increasing brutal attacks attacks, the Islamists have attracted international attention.

The militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in northern Nigeria on April 14, a month later there whereabouts remain unknown .

A resident of Niamey the capital of Niger told DW that he was worried about terror in the name of Islam

"Because what happens to your neighbor, can also happen to you. These people are not religious, because Islam calls for peace and non- violence. More has to be done to ensure that this network is unmasked and the kidnapped girls are freed. "

Boko Haram's terror has gobe beyond Nigeria's national borders. Souley Adji, a sociologist and political scientist at the University of Niamey told DW that eastern Niger, a neglected region with high unemployment, could be an easy target for Boko Haram to find recruits.

"Of course, such people feel in a certain way attracted by a movement which also seeks a social revolution. If the state can create jobs for them that will be good."

Women in Nigeria have stepped up pressure on the government to rescue the missing girls

Abducted girls in Cameroon?

In neighboring Cameroon, many observers are certain that the militia have also set up a base there. After the abduction of the schoolgirls in Chibok, eyewitnesses recounted of how they had seen the girls in Cameroon.

It was believed that they had been offered to Boko Haram supporters there as wives.

Following the revelations, the Cameroonian government through its spokesperson and minister for Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari, denied that the schoolgirls were on its territory.

Cameroon will never serve as a basis for the destabilization of other countries, Bakari said in an interview with DW.

"Cameroon has been subject to attacks perpetrated from neighboring countries and by nationals of those countries,"Bakari said, " I will like to recall our entire willingness and readiness to cooperate in good faith with the governments of neighboring countries to fight against trans-border criminality in respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each country."

A businesswoman in the capital Yaounde also told DW she hopes for a joint action that would involve Cameroonians and foreign aid against the Boko Haram."I call on the international community to intervene in this issue because this is when we actually need the international community to come in."

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