Monday, 18 July 2011

Nigeria: Boko Haram Insurgency

Borno State, the base of the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, is still firmly under siege following the arrival of the Joint Task Force (JTF) of military and several security agents into the embattled State.

Borno is experiencing a mass exodus as residents, especially of those who are ethnically non-Borno residents, flee in apparent fear for their lives.

The University of Maiduguri has also been closed because its administration has stated that it could no longer guarantee the safety of its students and staff.

Some Nigerian State governments have already begun the process of evacuating their citizens from Borno State.

This comes on the heels of the first battle between the JTF and the Boko Haram insurgents, where several suspected Boko Haram members were killed. Although the official figure of deaths is put at 17, witnesses have claimed that the number of those killed in the JTF raid is at least 30.

There were subsequent claims that innocent civilians were amongst those killed in the raid. Some have criticised the use of blunt military force in flushing out the Boko Haram insurgency.

Borno State elders, legislators, and the State's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have also strongly condemned the use of JTF and called on the Federal Government to immediately remove the force, because it is allegedly causing more harm than good, and are advocating dialogue instead.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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