Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, claimed another thirty lives today when they attacked two villages in the Northeast of Nigeria. The attacks took place near the town of Chibok, where the organisation kidnapped 230 schoolgirls from a boarding school earlier in the year.
The attacks took place between the evening hours on Tuesday and the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Boko Haram militants torched homes, looted whole villages, and fired on the residents attempting to flee. The villages of Shawa and Alagarno reportedly lost ten and twenty residents in the attacks, respectively.
These attacks come just one day after Boko Haram set off two car bombs, just thirty minutes apart, in a bustling market in the central Nigerian city of Jos. The car bombs collapsed buildings and set most of the market ablaze. Emergency services have not completed sweeping the area, but report the death toll at 118 people.
According to Plateu State Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, the first explosion was due to a suicide car bomber and the second due to an improvised explosive device in another car.
The name “Boko Haram” translates to “Western education is sin” in the native language of Huaru. The group operates in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger. They have been linked to more than 10 000 deaths between 2002 (when they were founded) and 2013. Their current leader, Abubakar Shekau has, since he took over, increased the urgency and violence of the group against, “Westernization”.
They oppose Westernized ideals in education and believe that studying in any Westernized centres of learning is sinful. The group opposes women’s rights and believes that they should not have access to education. Boko Haram also prohibits working in any civil service roles or governmental positions.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian government asked the United Nations to make Boko Haram a designated terrorist group. This is due to their relentless attacks on civilians and tourists, alike. The request by Nigeria states that Boko Haram is affiliated with al Qaeda.
The United Nations al Qaeda committee is meeting on Thursday and are expected to decide then whether or not this will occur. If Nigeria’s request is granted, it will enable countries to impose travel sanctions, the freezing of assets and arms embargoes. This is a crucial step to slowing the organisation down, as it is believed that the organisation receives funding and arms from outside of the country. It is speculated that the group’s funding and arms are supplied to them due to political interests and elite exploitation.