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Mame Biram Diouf

What Is Going On In Nigeria?

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At least 63 people have been killed in a string of bomb, suicide and gun attacks in Nigeria’s remote north east where Islamist militants are waging an increasingly bloody insurgency against the federal government and army. The attacks, which took place on Friday and Saturday ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid, were among the bloodiest since the Boko Haram sect launched its campaign in the city of Maiduguri in 2009 and belie army and federal government claims that the insurgency is close to being crushed.

They follow a suicide bomb blast in August on the UN headquarters in Abuja, the federal capital, which government officials believe points to the group’s evolving links with jihadist groups elsewhere in Africa including al-Qaeda in the Magreb.

The Red Cross said at least 63 people had been killed. But Nigerian journalist Aminu Abubakar said he had counted 97 bodies himself in the town of Damaturu where the attacks took place. The police headquarters had been completely destroyed, he said by phone from the town.

Witnesses said army offices and 6 churches were targeted with improvised explosives. The blasts were followed by hours of gun battles between police and militants. Mr Abubakar said he had seen several police and army vehicles that had been blown up.

In a statement issued by his spokesman Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan said he had “directed security agencies to ensure the arrest of perpetrators of these heinous acts.”

Abu Qaqa, Boko Haram’s spokesman claimed responsibility for the strikes in an interview with Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper and said “more attacks are on the way.” Boko Haram, which means “western education is forbidden” wants to see stricter implementation of Islamic law in northern Nigeria. It staged an uprising which was brutally put down by security forces in 2009 but has led to increasingly sophisticated retaliatory attacks.

Efforts by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to mediate an end to the conflict have borne little fruit as yet. Mr Obasanjo visited families of slain members of the sect in August. The group had given a string of conditions for a truce including compensation for the families of victims of military and police operations, the release of hundreds of jailed militants, and the rebuilding of schools, mosques and private homes destroyed in security operations since 2010. But a close relative of the group’s slain leader was murdered only two days after talks with Mr Obasanjo and the violence has continued unabated since.

People involved in the mediation said President Jonathan’s advisers are divided over whether to pursue a negotiated end to the insurgency or continue efforts to crush the group, which have turned the north east of the country into a virtual war zone and become a drain on state resources at a time the government is attempting to rein in spending.

The conflict is also exacerbating tensions between Nigeria’s multiethnic and religious population. Many northern politicians claim it is symptomatic of Nigeria’s unequal development and the skewed distribution of oil wealth since the end of military rule in 1999. The predominately Muslim north of the country has become increasingly impoverished while market reforms have mostly benefited the south. At the same time the oil rich delta, from which Mr Jonathan hails, has received much higher allocations of oil revenues to compensate for years of underdevelopment under northern led military governments.

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they coming in for there slice of the pie as china's stronghold in africa is becoming too much

being held to ransom this past week by china was the last straw so yeah now there are radical elements in africa and brave america, nato, the un and there cronies will be stepping in to calm things down.

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VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday appealed for “an end to all violence” in Nigeria after deadly attacks by Islamists claimed at least 150 lives in the north of the country.


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