Islamic extremist group Boko Haram shot to prominence in April earlier this year when they kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls. Everyone from Michelle Obama to Miley Cyrus joined in on a Twitter campaign to spread awareness about the subject, yet here we are nearly four months later and the girls are still in captivity. There is even substantial evidence that the Boko Haram is either brainwashing or coercing the kidnapped Nigerian girls into a string of suicide bombings.
This Sunday, the Boko Haram struck again — 100 boys were kidnapped from the Nigerian village of Doron Baga, Nigerian newspaper Punch reported. The attack is especially pernicious because of the widespread practice of turning kidnapped boys into child soldiers in Africa — the fate that almost assuredly awaits these young Nigerian men if nothing is done. Is it time for #bringbackourgirls to become #bringbackourboys?
The paper’s estimate came from the mouth of one woman whose village was attacked, Halima Alhaji Adamu. The woman also lost her husband in the Boko Haram’s siege of their village.
The attack was on Sunday, in my family they killed six people, I don’t know about the other families but the Hadaijawa community which I belong also had 100 of the abducted by the insurgents.
Boko Haram’s brutal scorched earth tactics have forced an estimated 400,000 Nigerian citizens from their homes so far this year, reported The Wall Street Journal. Despite the availability of camps for displaced Nigerians, many like Adamu are now opting to live with family members — even if that means they must face the Boko Haram alone.
I think it is better to go and live with family members than opting for camps. We lost everything we have worked for, and I don’t think the camp will be a better place for us. With family members, we can have the courage to face life again but the camp will continue to make us reflect on our predicament because there is no care as such no focus for one to engage himself or herself into doing something meaningful.
Outside Nigeria, the international community has already been doubtful that the army can squash the threat of the Boko Haram. In the face of corruption scandals it seems unlikely that any victory will be reached against the terrorist group — whether to recuperate the 100 kidnapped boys or to ever really #bringbackourgirls. On Wednesday Nigeria’s Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, gave a speech reassuring that the army is putting full efforts into eradicating the threat of Boko Haram kidnappings and sieges, reported Nigerian newspaper Daily Post.
We can only assure them that we mean well. The officers [whom] are put in charge of these men are trained to be leaders. We should let them do the job in times like this. The integrity of everybody is at stake, and the time has come when we should rather reduce the level of accusations that are meant to demoralize and discourage.
Do you think the international community needs to intervene in the conflict? Or is a #bringbackourgirls/#bringbackourboys campaign all that we should offer?
[Photo via Face2FaceAfrica]