Boko Haram

Archbishop Kaigama accuses west of not assisting Nigeria to fight insurgency

The situation in the country has proved beyond every reasonable doubts, that it is not what the country could tackle alone. Ignatus Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, has said. he called on the world at large to show more determination to halt the crisis in Nigeria.

Citing what the international community did in France after the attacks in that country as a good example and urged a repeat of that gesture to Nigeria.

The bishop's call came after 23 people were killed by three female bombers, one of them reported to be 10 years old. The weekend attacks come after reports that hundreds of people were killed during the capture by Boko Haram of the town of Baga in Borno state.

Archbishop Kaigama told the BBC's Newsday programme that the slaughter in Baga had shown that the Nigerian military was unable to tackle Boko Haram.

"It is a monumental tragedy. It has saddened all of Nigeria. But... we seem to be helpless. Because if we could stop Boko Haram, we would have done it right away. But they continue to attack, and kill and capture territories... with such impunity," he said.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, said he was appalled by reports of the killings in Baga and condemned what he called "the depraved acts of Boko Haram terrorists"

The Nigerian military is said to be fighting tooth and nail to recapture the town, an attempt which has not really bore much results. The troops on Saturday however successfully fought Boko Haram off trying to capture another major north-eastern town of Damaturu.

A BBC correspondent in Lagos, Will Ross, says it was a rare success for the army, which on the whole has failed to protect civilians from the relentless violence.

Our correspondent says Nigeria's politicians appear more focused on next month's elections and President Goodluck Jonathan has not commented on the recent violence.

On Sunday, two female suicide attackers killed four people and injured more than 40 people in the town of Potiskum.

A day earlier, another young female suicide bomber, reported to be 10 years old, struck in the main city of north-east Nigeria, Maiduguri, killing at least 19 people.

Archbishop Kaigama said facing down Boko Haram required international support and unity of the type that had been shown after last week's militant attacks in France.

"We need that spirit to be spread around," he said. "Not just when it [an attack] happens in Europe, but when it happens in Nigeria, in Niger, in Cameroon.126

"We [must] mobilise our international resources and face or confront the people who bring such sadness to many families."

In June, Britain said it would increase its military and educational aid to help Nigeria tackle Boko Haram.

The aid includes counter-insurgency training for troops, which is also being provided by the US military.

However, Nigeria has criticised the US for refusing to sell it weapons because of alleged human rights abuses committed by Nigerian troops.

Jos, where the archbishop is based, has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians and has faced attacks by Islamist militants, although it is some distance from Boko Haram's strongholds.

Last month more than 30 people were killed in twin bomb attacks on a market there.

Churches have also been targeted in what are believed to be attempts by the militants to foment religious tension.

A French-led initiative has called for Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad to contribute 700 troops each to a multinational force against Boko Haram, but no country has implemented the plan.

Niger has blamed Nigeria, saying it has not kept to commitments regarding its own troop levels.

 

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