Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Nigeria Has Lost Its Fight Against Terrorism – USA

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In the US International Religious Report for 2013, released on 28 July, secretary of state John F. Kerry strongly criticized the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration for being too slow to prevent and react to the communal or religious-based violence. Also one of the reasons for such connivance in the country was named poorly equipped and trained security forces responsible for suppression of extremist groups in the north.

Here’s only a small part of claims made to the federal government:
1) The government also failed to protect victims of violent attacks targeted because of their religious beliefs or for other reasons.
2) Legal proceedings against five police officers charged in 2011 with the extrajudicial killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf did not resume during the year.
3) There were no indictments or prosecutions following three fatal attacks on high-profile Muslim leaders in late 2012.
4) Local and state authorities did not deliver adequate protection or post-attack relief to rural communities in the northeast, where Boko Haram killed villagers and burned churches throughout the year.
5) There is discrimination and a systematic lack of protection by state governments, especially in central Nigeria.
6) Federal, state, and local authorities did not effectively address underlying political, ethnic, and religious grievances leading to this violence.
“In Nigeria, casualties and human rights abuses associated with Boko Haram attacks and the government’s response escalated. Boko Haram killed more than 1,000 people during the year. The group targeted a wide array of civilians and sites, including Christian and Muslim religious leaders, churches, and mosques, often killing worshippers during religious services or immediately afterward. The federal government was ineffective in preventing or quelling the violence, only occasionally investigated, prosecuted, or punished those responsible for abuses related to religious freedom, and sometimes responded to violence with heavy-handed tactics, which were associated with both human rights abuses and civilian casualties. Over 10,000 people have fled to neighboring countries as refugees, fearing both Boko Haram and sometimes the military.
Related: US Government Sent Nigeria $20 Million To Fight Boko Haram Since 2012
An attack on the Emir of Kano in January was widely believed to be an attempt by Boko Haram to silence the anti-extremist Muslim leader, although the group did not officially claim responsibility. On September 28, Boko Haram killed at least 50 mostly Muslim students at a technical college in rural Yobe State. After this and other incidents, security forces faced public criticism for arriving at the scene hours after the assailants had fled. Government attempts to stop Boko Haram were largely ineffective. Actions taken by security forces under the state of emergency, declared in May in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, often increased the death toll, as bystanders were caught in crossfire during urban gunfights, security forces committed extrajudicial killings of suspected terrorists, and detainees died in custody.”
It would be recalled that earlier the US government was one of the first who expressed its readiness to assist Nigeria in fight against Boko Haram. It also designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on November 14, 2013
“The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian Government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice. I will tell you, my friends, I have seen this scourge of terror across the planet, and so have you. They don’t offer anything except violence. They don’t offer a health care plan, they don’t offer schools. They don’t tell you how to build a nation; they don’t talk about how they will provide jobs. They just tell people, “You have to behave the way we tell you to,” and they will punish you if you don’t, ” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.

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