ISSN 2330-717X

Nigeria: Boko Haram Crisis Crosses Borders


The arrival of arms and ammunition and the return of hundreds of thousands of migrants from Libya has threatened to destabilize the Sahel and therefore northern Nigeria, which is part of that region, said Comfort Ero, director of African Studies at International International Crisis Group, speaking about the latest massacres by Boko Haram to MISNA.

Dr. Ero, the death toll from the battle of Kano continues to worsen. According to the bishop, Monsignor John Niyiring, such a thing had “never” been seen before. Do you agree?

“By now, since two years ago, there has been an escalation that has affected the regions of the north-east where Boko Haram has its strongholds as well as other parts of the country, as confirmed by the attack against the church of Madalla at Christmas, near Abuja. The massacre of Kano is the latest in a series. Even if … ”

Even if?

“Kano is the most populous city in the north and it is important from a symbolic point of view as well. It used to be better defended, or at least it should have been. In this sense, what Monsignor Niyiring says is true. ”

Who is behind Boko Haram?

“There are many hypotheses, but we still gathering evidence. There is a strong suspicion that the group relies on the support of elite sectors of the Muslim north who have not digested the election of Goodluck Jonathan, a president of the oil rich and Christian south. This support was also important in the past. Politics and government of the northern states had the support of Boko Haram 10 years ago when they introduced the “Sharia” as a source of legislation. That way, things got worse. ”

The other question is funding and weapons …

“President Jonathan’s decision to close its border with Chad and Cameroon, the entry into force of the state of emergency in several regions of the north confirms fears that militants and weapons might spill into Nigeria from abroad. A fear that is joined to another, to which Jonathan has made a direct reference, that of infiltration of Boko Haram in the institutions and the security apparatus. ”

Could the civil war in Libya have aggravated the situation?

“The arrival of arms and ammunition from Libya along with the return home of hundreds of thousands of migrants who used to work in that country may destabilize the Sahel region, which is part of the north of Nigeria in its own right. As for Jonathan’s administration, this is one more problem to deal with. “

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MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the 'world’s Souths', not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.

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