Tit for Tat Nigerian violence

Nigeria has long had issues with insurgent violence. In the Delta region where all the oil business is, militants waged a low intensity campaign of sabotage and kidnapping until an amnesty deal settled things down a couple years ago. Not long on the heels of that, a new group sprouted up in the north that goes by the name Boko Haram, loosely translated to mean “Western education is bad”. They’ve been responsible for most of the high profile attacks in the capital city here, including the National Police Headquarters, the bombing of a popular market/ restaurant, and the UN building here. But there is a lot more violence that doesn’t make the international news, like these two headlines I found yesterday.

Army kills 57 Boko Haram

16 killed in Maiduguri multiple explosions

Looks like the government struck a blow by killing a fair number and capturing some key territory and buildings, but that doesn’t really impact Boko Haram’s operational capacity. Many reports indicate that Al Qaeda in the Magreb is working with BH. I know that they have improved the sophistication and tactical element of their attacks. They also seem to be pretty well armed. I don’t know if that comes from corruption with the army/police domestically or if they are armed from the outside.

Hopefully the Christmas holiday passes without incident. In addition to the formal group threat posed by Boko Haram, there is also widening general sectarian violence between the Muslim and Christian communities here, with regular attacks by mobs of people, often at night where they will attack houses and families, claiming retribution for similar attacks by the other side. The national government’s response doesn’t seem to be very good at quelling over all dissatisfaction with the situation. When the national fuel subsidy is removed next year, there is likely to be a lot of protests and violence as well. Hopefully the government follows through with its claims that the money saved by removing the subsidy will be used to benefit the people who need it (which is most everyone who doesn’t work for the government).

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