Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos and one of Africa’s most senior church leaders, has slammed Western governments for ignoring the threat posed by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The Independent says that the Archbishop spoke as spoke as bodies lay strewn on the ground in Baga in north-east Nigeria, nine days after a surge by Boko Haram fighters who took over the border town earlier this month.
CNN reported that when Boko Haram militants attacked the town, they sped in with gunfire and grenade launchers shattering the early morning calm.
As terrified residents scattered into bushes in Baga town and surrounding villages, the gunmen unloaded motorcycles from their trucks and followed in hot pursuit. Residents who hid under the scant brush were shot dead. Those who hid in their homes were burned alive.
Many who tried to cross into neighboring Chad drowned while trying to swim through Lake Chad. By the time the weapons went quiet, as many as 2,000 people had been slaughtered.
Newsweek reports that Boko Haram has now killed many more people than have been killed by the outbreak of the deadly disease Ebola. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 8,235 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, while at least 10,000 people have been murdered at the hands of Boko Haram in the last year alone – an estimate that doesn’t take into account this latest and bloodiest massacre.
Archbishop Kaigama highlighted the stark difference between the West’s willingness to act when 17 people were killed by Islamist militants in France and the approach to the slaughter in Africa.
Archbishop Kaigama told The Independent on Sunday that while the Nigerian government was “dilly dallying” and needed to improve its effectiveness against Boko Haram, the West must also act before the militants’ power grew to stretch far beyond Nigeria’s borders.
The Archbishop said, “I can smell a lot more trouble. It’s not going to be confined to this region. It’s going to expand. It will get to Europe and elsewhere…There has to be a concrete collaboration between Europe and America to bring this to an end.”
“When it comes to the international community, they express their solidarity but it isn’t really concrete help. I would have thought by now they would be able to help Nigeria.’
He added, “Compare what has happened in Paris and what is happening here. There is a great difference.”
Boko Haram states that its aim is to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria and has also targeted Cameroon over the past year. Reuters is reporting today that at least 143 Boko Haram fighters were killed in an attack on a military camp in Cameroon on Monday. A minister claimed that it was the heaviest loss sustained by the Nigerian Islamist group in the country.
Boko Haram were also responsible for the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok last year, and recent reports suggest that the group is using children as young as 10 as suicide bombers.
[images – theepochtimes. com and BBC]