Nigeria murderous militants, Boko Haram, kill dozens and kidnapped an untold number of women and children.
Around 10 p.m. on the evening of February 9, militants in Auno, Nigeria murdered over 30 innocent civilians and kidnapped an untold number of women and children. Most of the travelers were burned alive inside of their cars, which were parked along a major highway in Borno State, linking Maiduguri and Damaturu. While the heavily armed militants murdered the travelers, they also ravaged and burned the village.
Ahmad Abdurrahman Bundi, a state government spokesperson, said the militants, “killed not less than 30 people who are mostly motorists and destroyed 18 vehicles.” The UN has taken note and shared its discontent with the situation, as over the past few months there has been a spike in militant attacks along the highway. Jihadists have disguised themselves as soldiers and placed roadblocks along the highway recently to kill and kidnap travelers. The most obvious culprit appears to be a faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a group that has a history of kidnapping children and terrorizing this particular highway quite recently. However, the culprit of the crime is yet to be confirmed.
It is believed that ISWAP’s recent spike in activity comes after the Nigerian government closed down its military bases in favor of more consolidated “super camps.” This tactic has left local communities more vulnerable to attacks despite the government’s claim that the tactic has reduced the stream of jihadist attacks, which have claimed more than 30,000 lives and displaced millions of people over the last decade.
While the Nigerian government has regained control of certain parts of Borno, which were lost to Boko Haram over the last decade, the recent spike in the group’s activity does not bode well for the innocent civilians of the state. Boko Haram seems to even be growing under the leader of ISWAP, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who was appointed by the Islamic State in 2016 and is believed to be Yusuf’s son. This appears to be because of al-Barnawi’s different set of tactics for recruitment, which stem around winning over the hearts and minds of those in the immediate vicinity. He does this by creating a more state-like entity, which has its own judicial system and looks after local economic factors of the community like fishing and farming.
There is no other peaceful alternative to stopping this militant Islamic group than to put an end to its successful recruitment tactics. Although economic aid to the region could help the locals resist the influence of ISWAP by allowing them to live independently of its material promise, the main recruitment factor of Boko Haram is, and always has been its ideology. It is well known that the recruitment of such groups relies heavily on social media to spread its ideology, especially twitter. The only tactics those not living within the state can do, therefore, is provide economic aid to curve the material prospect, and urge social media officiates to ban accounts recruiting members for violent military purposes. However, those on the ground in Borno have taken steps to curb this radical ideology as well. There are a select few leaders of Islam who have taken a hard stance against such violence. Such clerics even attacked Yusuf’s theology from the very beginning, forcing him to leave the area of Sokoto, having gained little to no traction for his movement. These peaceful, religious people are the ones that are actively trying to stop this group at its roots, by stopping discrediting ideology, and deserve support to ensure no more innocent people are burned alive nor kidnapped.
SOURCE: THE ORGANIZATION FOR WORLD PEACE