Paris attacks should not eclipse the horrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria

Press release

For immediate use

Global Minorities Alliance, a Glasgow based human rights organisation, has called on world leaders not to ignore the horrors of Boko Haram amid reports that around 2000 people were killed in Nigeria in the most recent spate of violence.

The carnage is reported to have occurred in the Nigerian town of Baga, on the border with Chad, where the militant group seized a military base on 3 January. The clashes between security forces and militants continued throughout the first week of January.

Eyewitnesses recall scenes of violence during the attack which has been branded Boko Haram’s ‘deadliest massacre’. The victims include children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents attacked the town spraying grenades and bullets.

The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram in Baga was enormous. Mr Abba Gava, a spokesperson of an armed civilian group that fights Boko Haram, told Associated Press: “No one could attend to the corpses or the seriously injured ones who also may have died by now.”

The Alliance’s Chief Executive, Manassi Bernard, lambasted the West’s half-hearted attempts to intervene and assist the military forces and local defence groups who are ill-equipped to counter any assault by Boko Haram, who have modern and hi-tech weaponry.

“The Paris attacks should not eclipse the horrors done by Boko Haram who attack and kill innocent people at whim,” he further stressed.

“As we have witnessed world leaders in the million march in Paris, we urge them to unite to combat terrorism in Africa as well.”

The Alliance’s Director of Diplomatic Affairs, Rebecca Gebauer, condemned the abuse of girls and women to further the terror agenda of militants and fundamentalists around the world. As an example she mentioned the recent suicide bomb attack in a Nigerian market in Borno state. A 10-year-old girl was strapped with bombs and detonated in the middle of the market, which killed 19 people.

“Girls are often easy targets for these fundamentalists who use them for their nefarious propaganda,” Ms Gebauer said. She also called for people to remember the more than 276 school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.

Following an international outcry and the popular social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, which generated more than 4 million tweets and among others was supported by the US First Lady Michelle Obama, today the girls are a forgotten story.

The majority of the girls have not returned since and are thought to have been married off, leaving behind traumatised parents and families.

“It is disappointing to realise that the cost of human life varies in different parts of world,” Ms Gebauer said. “Had this tragedy occurred in the West, every effort would have been put into to make sure girls are safe and with their families.”

Around 10,000 people have been killed alone in last year as the result of the Boko Haram quest to carve out an Islamic caliphate in a religiously diverse Nigeria.


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