Recent Spate Of Violence In Nigeria

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Two bombs blamed on the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram exploded at a crowded mosque and a Muslim restaurant in Nigeria’s central city of Jos, killing 44 people, officials said on Monday.

The blasts on Sunday night came hours after a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded evangelical Christian church service in the north-eastern city of Potiskum, killing at least five people, writes the British newspaper The Guardian.

Also on Sunday, extremists returned to north-eastern villages attacked three days earlier, killing nine villagers and burning down 32 churches and about 300 homes, according to the chairman of a self-defence group in Borno state.

The violence comes at the end of a week in which suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed more than 200 people, according to Reuters.

The spate of bloodshed prompted outrage and French President Francois Hollande said he was ready to hold a summit with regional leaders to coordinate the fight against Boko Haram.

The blast in Potiskum in the state of Yobe on Sunday came after an attack on the capital of neighboring Borno state on Friday, deadly raids in three towns during the week and suicide bombings along a highway.

The president, Muhammadu Buhari, said a slaughter of up to 150 Kukawa residents near Lake Chad on Wednesday by Boko Haram was a “heinous atrocity”. Several people who attended burials there, including a senior government official, said 147 bodies, including 22 children, had been interred.

Also last week in Borno, about 50 people were shot dead in nearby Monguno, 12 men were killed in a raid on Miringa and two suicide bombers killed another 10 alongside a highway.

The Defence Ministry said six suicide bombers had blown themselves up during the attack on the outskirts of Maiduguri on Friday, killing a soldier and “scores” of civilians, writes Reuters.

http://time.com/3946134/terrorism-boko-haram-nigeria-radical-islam-caliphate-suicide-bombing/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/05/us-nigeria-boko-haram-idUSKCN0PF0D120150705

Nigeria’s Presidential Candidates Sign ‘Peace Agreement,’ Promise Not To Fight After Election

The top contenders in the forthcoming March 28 Presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Genenral Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have signed another peace accord in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Less than 48 hours before Nigeria holds its Presidential elections, the top candidates President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have signed a peace accord in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), according to tv360nigeria.com.

Some 800 people were killed after the disputed 2011 elections, states GBC.

The meeting was put together Thursday by the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections, led by Nigeria’s former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The Peace Committee raised concerns on Monday that campaigning had been marred by hate speech.

This is the second Peace accord both candidates are signing in a bid to ensure the March 28 Presidential elections are violence-free.

The agreement, just like one they signed on January 14, contained provisions by the parties to avoid actions that could promote violence during and after the polls.

The highly-contested election will take place on Saturday.

Mr Jonathan is facing a strong challenge from Gen Buhari, with some analysts predicting a photo-finish.

In 2011, official figures said Mr Jonathan won by a wide margin.  Gen Buhari said those results were fraudulent, and violence broke out in certain areas of the country.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 10 In Nigerian Bus Station

A female suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded bus station in the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu on Sunday.  It was in a region that is frequently attacked by Islamist militants.  It killed 10 people and wounding 30, police said.

Witness Adamu Muhammad said he heard a loud blast and people at an area called Damaturu Motor Park and things “descended into panic.”

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.  Boko Haram’s use of female suicide bombers has been a new trend over the past year.

The attack comes hours after members of the Boko Haram lunched an attack in the city of Gombe.  That attack was pushed back.

Are There ‘Paid Commenters’ Who Comment On Articles On The Internet?

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani claims that Nigerian propaganda campaigns extend all the way into online comments sections.

Wikipedia states: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani “is a Nigerian novelist, humorist, essayist and journalist. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to you by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a Betty Trask First Book award, and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. Nwaubani is the first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an international book deal while still living in her home country.”


Al Jazeera English

Euronews: Boko Haram Is Exporting Violence

euronews

According to euronews, the UN Security Council has demanded that Nigeria’s terrorist group Boko Haram disarm and demobilize. Also, the charity Oxfam says violence by the Islamist group has displaced 1.5 million people within the country.

One man who fled his home said people without means simply leave on foot, resting in the barren bush, with nothing to eat, and that pregnant women give birth under these conditions, with no medical support.

Three provinces in Nigeria are under state of emergency law. Critics of the government condemn its inability to help people, and yet the Adamawa State Public Affairs Director Phineas Elisha redirected scorn towards the violence of Boko Haram, saying it mimics the movement ISIL’s state-founding ambitions in Iraq and Syria.

20 Killed In French Act Of Terror; 2000 Killed in Nigerian Act Of Terror

Secular Talk

The Guardian:

“Hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the ‘deadliest massacre’ in the history of Boko Haram.

“Fighting continued on Friday around Baga, a town on the border with Chad where insurgents seized a key military base on 3 January and attacked again on Wednesday.

“‘Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted air strikes against militant targets,’ said a government spokesman.

“District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.”

More:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/09/boko-haram-deadliest-massacre-baga-nigeria

Clinical Trials For Ebola Medicine To Start In Africa Next Month; Death Toll At 5,160

Ebola healthcare workers are trained on ways to treat infected patients at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 12 November 2014

According to the BBC, clinical trials to try to find an effective treatment for Ebola patients are to start in West Africa next month.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed by the worst outbreak of Ebola has risen to 5,160, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which has been helping lead the fight against the virus, says three of its treatment centres will host three separate research projects.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency imposed in the country.  She warned “this is not because the fight against Ebola is over”.

It marks the progress being made in the country, where the weekly number of new infections is falling.  In Guinea, the frequency of new cases no longer appears to be increasing, but remains high in Sierra Leone.

In a radio address she told the nation that night curfews would be reduced, weekly markets could take place and preparations were being made for the re-opening of schools.

U.S. Military Has Two Drone Bases In Niger And One In Chad

After months of negotiations, the government of Niger has authorized the U.S. military to fly unarmed drones from the mud-walled desert city of Agadez, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.

This will be the second U.S. surveillance hub in Niger and third in the region.

It advances a little-publicized U.S. strategy to tackle counter-terrorism threats alongside France, the former colonial power in that part of the continent.

In Niamey, Niger’s capital, U.S. and French forces set up neighboring drone hangars last year to conduct reconnaissance flights over Mali, where about 1,200 French soldiers are trying to suppress a revolt from 2012.

It is unclear whether the Pentagon will continue to operate drones from Niamey, about 500 miles southwest of Agadez, though some officials said it was unlikely. About 120 U.S. troops are deployed there at a Nigerien military base adjacent to the international airport.

The third drone base in the region is reportedly in Chad. U.S. surveillance drones have used that base to search for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram since May 11.

Although officials have not said where those drones have been flying from, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that having the new unit in Chad, which borders the northeastern tip of Niger, will enable longer surveillance flights.

“Locating this force in Chad allows us to spend more time flying over the search area,” said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III.

The White House approved $10 million in emergency aid on Aug. 11 to help airlift French troops and provide midair refueling for French aircraft deployed to the region.  Analysts said the monetary sum was less important than what it symbolized: U.S. endorsement of a new French plan to deploy 3,000 troops across the region.

Updated to correct the title.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-set-to-open-second-drone-base-in-niger-as-it-expands-operations-in-africa/2014/08/31/365489c4-2eb8-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html