Nigeria moots international intervention against deadly Boko Haram campaign

Konye Obaji Ori* armybootsreuters1The worsening carnage by Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has forced the Nigerian government to seek international help to deal with the Islamists. Scores of people were killed in suicide attacks by two female bombers in the latest deadly violence in Yobe and Borno state in northeast Nigeria at the weekend.

The weekend terror attacks follow a marauding campaign by the group on January 3 where 16 surrounding settlements were razed and thousands killed in the Borno town of Baga. The Nigerian government said the attacks demonstrated the need for the international community to intervene. “The attack on the town by the bloodhounds and their activities since January 3rd, 2015, should convince well-meaning people all over the world that Boko Haram is the evil all must collaborate to end,” Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told reporters. Over the past six months, Boko Haram has taken control of more than 20 towns in northeast Nigeria, most of them in Borno State, and launched attacks into Chad and Cameroon. According to estimates, Boko Haram’s territory now nearly equals the Islamic State’s in Iraq and Syria. Nigerian soldiers have often complained of a lack of adequate weapons and sometimes have refused to go on the battlefront against the rebels who are said to be better armed. Boko Haram has been fighting to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. In the last six months the group has seized dozens of towns and villages in the remote region. Nigeria’s military, West Africa’s largest, has failed to curtail the marauding group. Boko Haram has killed thousands in at least 16 towns and villages in the last week. Surviving families have been splintered as they seek refuge anywhere in Nigeria and beyond its borders. Nigeria has been trying to buy sophisticated weaponry and international military assistance to combat the group, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2009. Last year, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan requested $1 billion from foreign institutions to equip the country’s security forces.

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