Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nigeria's Perfect Storm

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012   No comments

By Francis Njubi Nesbitt
Boko Haram militia member
Nigeria is facing a perfect storm of crises including a national strike, widespread protests, and sectarian violence in the north. Although the strikes, attacks, and protests raise the specter of another civil war in Africa’s biggest oil producer, the United States and the international community should avoid aggravating the situation by seeming to encourage a military solution.

Much of the violence in the north is blamed on an Islamist sect called Boko Haram, which means, “Western education is sinful.” Boko Haram emerged as a religious sect in 2002 but ramped up its antigovernment rhetoric and sectarian violence after security forces arrested and killed its founder, Mohamed Yusuf, in 2009. Hundreds of sect members died in the operation. In response, sect members killed over 800 people. Since then, the movement has adopted terrorist tactics including car bombs, drive-by shootings, and raids on churches. Its most spectacular attack was a car bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital city in August 2010. 



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