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Africa's God Wars
Boko Haram to Buhari: Come And Get Us

Boko Haram’s brutal, barbaric rampage in northeastern Nigeria continued unabated this week. The BBC:

Eyewitnesses say the gunmen stormed the village of Kukawa near Lake Chad on Wednesday evening, killing 97 people, including women and children.

On Tuesday, the militants shot dead 48 men after they had finished prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno, a resident told the BBC. […]

“The terrorists first descended on Muslim worshippers in various mosques who were observing the Maghrib prayer shortly after breaking their fast,” [an eyewitness] said.

“They… opened fire on the worshippers who were mostly men and young children.

“They spared nobody. In fact, while some of the terrorists waited and set most of the corpses on fire, others proceeded to houses and shot indiscriminately at women who were preparing food,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari, the first opposition leader to peacefully replace an incumbent in Nigeria’s history, vowed to take the fight to Boko Haram. Boko Haram appears to be saying, “Well, here we are. What are you going to do about it?”

The consequences for Nigeria, Africa and the world will be immense if Buhari fails. But the odds for his success are poor. The Nigerian army and government are not exactly widely noted for incorruptibility, professionalism, efficiency, and skill. Yet without effective and coordinated efforts involving police, military and civil administration, the insurrection will be hard to contain.

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  • solstice

    Will WRM ever stop using the ridiculous PC term “God Wars” and be a man and use the actual term for what is taking place not just in Africa but around the world: “Islamic Jihad”?

  • Kevin

    The Nigerian Public Health Service on the other hand showed admirable skill in dealing with the Ebola outbreak this winter. Surely the Nigerian government is riddled with corruption and incompetence, but there do seem to be some real pockets of competence and public servants willing to sacrifice themselves for the public good. Further the election of an opposition leader whose credentials principally consisted of his military resume by a populace looking for a leader to tackle the chaos. So while the challenges are immense and the odds long, there does appear to be something to build upon – this does not appear to be the French regime in 1940 or the KMT in 1948 where the elite is riven by internal ideological disputes and unwilling to fight and the population unwilling to fight against the regim’s enemies. Here the populace seems to be looking for a regime that will stand up to the barbarians.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Nigeria is not some kind of footnote. It is the seventh most populous nation in the world. If it cannot put a lid on a rag-tag band of Islamic radicals, most of the Africans are in big, big trouble.

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