Nigeria is set to pass a record-breaking federal budget. After months of political wrangling, several governmental departments are in line to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from state coffers. Among the biggest beneficiaries is the country’s Ministry of Defense, which will receive around $440 million in capital expenditure alone.
But for Nigerians in the country’s troubled northeast, the planned cash injection isn’t necessarily good news. For years, the federal government has been amping up defense spending, hoping to stamp out Boko Haram, a militant group that has waged an armed insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.
According to a statement released last night by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, the successful rescue operation was based on information received, yesterday by the troops by the civilian JTF intimating them to act for the safety of the captives.
Call it the placebo effect, psychological warfare, or what have you—this medicine show raises the morale of volunteers in a very dangerous war.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria—At first glance the corrugated tin shack with its display of dried plants and powders in empty rice sacks spilling outside and animal skins tacked to the front door seems like any other roadside spice market or traditional medicine shop here in northeast Nigeria. But this humble depot is where members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF)—a vigilante group integral to the Nigerian government’s counterinsurgency operations—procure the charms and amulets they believe protect them from the terrorists of Boko Haram.
Christians massacred by Muslim Fulani tribesmen in Nigeria
Another day in northern Nigeria, another Christian village reeling from an attack by the Muslim Fulani herdsmen who used to be their neighbours — and who are now cleansing them from the area. The locals daren’t collect the freshest bodies. Some who tried earlier have already been killed, spotted by the waiting militia and hacked down or shot. The Fulani are watching everything closely from the surrounding mountains. Every week, their progress across the northern states of Plateau and Kaduna continues. Every week, more massacres — another village burned, its church razed, its inhabitants slaughtered, raped or chased away. A young woman, whose husband and two children have just been killed in front of her, tells me blankly, ‘Our parents told us about these people. But we lived in relative peace and we forgot what they said.’
BAMAKO, Mali — The Nigerian military bombed a crowded camp for people fleeing Islamist militants Tuesday, killing more than 50 people in what was described as a mistake by air force pilots targeting Boko Haram fighters.
The bombardment occurred in the city of Rann, near the Cameroon border, one of places where more than 1 million victims of Boko Haram have fled in recent years as part of one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.
More than 100 people were injured, and humanitarian workers were among the dead, aid officials said.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria—On a week when a number of local airlines either cancelled or rescheduled flights owing to a scarcity of aviation fuel, all 21 recently released schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram militants in the northeastern town of Chibok managed to board a flight from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and travel back to the scene of their abduction.
Their return was portrayed by the government as a kind of victory lap at a time when, it is said., no area in the region is held by the jihadists.