Nigeria has seen yet another horrible attack unfold in front of her eyes. Suspected militant group Boko Haram has abducted at least 20 more girls close to where the first incident occurred on 14 April. Boko Haram had previously abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from their school hostel.
The girls were abducted in Garkin Fulani village near the town of Chibok in north-east Nigeria. This is also where at least 276 schoolgirls were abducted earlier this year by Boko Haram. Witnesses told the BBC that the militant islamist group forcefully ordered the 20 women to enter their vans at gunpoint. The vehicles were then said to have driven off to an unknown location in the Borno state.
A member of a local vigilante group set up to resist the Boko Haram’s attacks said that the armed militants dressed in military uniform arrived at the Garkin Fulani village in the noon to launch the attack. He added that three young men were also seized by the group after they tried to stop the kidnapping.
“We tried to go after them when the news got to us about three hours later, but the vehicles we have could not go far, and the report came to us a little bit late,” Alhaji Tar said.
The rights of children in Nigeria violated
The latest abduction occurred just nine days after Nigeria’s Children’s Day holiday, which falls on 27 May. The day, meant to protect and celebrate the lives and rights of children in Nigeria was clouded by the violation towards the young girls who were abducted by Boko Haram. A deep irony is routed in the incidents that surround the day on which children should be celebrated and protected.
Government under pressure
The Nigerian government has been pressured by local and international masses to do more in order to tackle the Boko Haram. A state of emergency has been declared in Northern Nigeria yet Boko Haram continue with their attacks. BBC News previously reported that the Nigerian military knows where the girls are being held hostage by Boko Haram but will not attempt a rescue. Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff said that the military would not risk “going there with force” and endanger the lives of the abducted girls.
What is Boko Haram?
Boko Haram is a militant Islamic group that is fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government and create a state based on Islamic ideologies. Since it came to existence in 2002, Boko Haram has caused havoc and unrest in Nigeria with a series of assassinations, bombings and they have now added abductions to their terrorist activities.
“Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors” is the Koranic phrase that is said to be influencing the followers of Boko Haram. The group promotes a version of Islam that deems Muslim activity in social and political activity associated with Western society as “haram”, which means “forbidden”.
Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009, attacking the Western society in their efforts to create an Islamic state. Thousands of civilians and militants were killed in north-eastern Nigeria where most of the attacks occurred. In August 2011, Boko Haram was responsible for the Abuja United Nations Bombing which happened at the UN Headquarters. At least 21 people were killed and 60 were wounded in the car bomb attack.
The group’s founding leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed in 2009 while under police custody. Yusuf was succeeded by Abubakar Shekau. Under Shekau’s instruction, Boko Haram has become more radical and ruthless with more killings taking place.
All images: BBC News