Thursday, January 15, 2015

Deadlier By The Day

While Western Education may be forbidden - cranking up the murder machine is A O Tay

Boko Haram is now on par with the Islamic State in terms of violent deaths — the latter was responsible for roughly 5,500 deaths in 2014, while BoKo Haram is up to over 5K.

Things are getting worse. It's difficult to pinpoint the precise number of deaths carried out by Boko Haram, in part because reporting in the area is "notoriously difficult," as the Guardian put it. But while there are sometimes discrepancies in the numbers — the Nigeria Social Violence Dataset puts the 2014 death toll at roughly 5,000, and the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations echoes that number — what is clear is that the crisis of militant terror has gone from bad to worse in a short period of time.

In the Nigerian town of Baga, Boko Haram insurgents carried out one of the bloodiest attacks in the group's history, killing an estimated 2,000 people. Most of the victims were women, children and elderly people who couldn't escape after fighters drove into the town firing rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons at local residents.

The world watched in horror while two gunmen slaughtered 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week, yet a massacre of a different kind was happening halfway across the world.

Using data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Dataset, which produces real-time data for disaggregated conflict analysis and mapping in Africa, the chart illustrates a stark pattern: The number of deaths caused by Boko Haram is rising from year to year. And if last week's singular attack is any indication, the threat is growing.

And yet few international organizations are taking any notice. Despite the utter destruction of Baga's residents, the media seems to have turned a blind eye to the conflict.

The West, particularly the United States, has an enormous amount at stake when it comes to the Islamic State. They pose a serious threat to our interests abroad and have the power to entangle us in yet another Middle Eastern conflict.

Nigeria, on the other hand, holds no such power, and Boko Haram's attacks have thus far targeted a population that is far removed from our own. 44's own logic for fighting against the Islamic State — that we must protect targeted groups from its violence — could be used in the case of Boko Haram, and yet no major calls to action have been put forth.

 Boko Haram's pattern of growth since 2009 makes it clear that it will continue to wage a violent war on its own population. It may not be happening on our doorstep, but that doesn't mean we can ignore it.

Pic - "The main difference between France and Nigeria isn't that the public and the media care about one and not the other. It is, rather, that one country has an effective government and the other does not."