In a report out today, the LA Times highlights Boko Haram’s attack on Nigerian Christians and the government’s reluctance to act in defense of its citizens.
In the last year, the government has lost control of vast swaths of the country’s northeast to Boko Haram with barely a fight. In a military-style campaign, the extremist militia has raised its black flag over villages, driven Christians from their farmland and houses, and dragged people from cars at roadblocks, killing “infidels”…
The crisis encapsulates Nigeria’s myriad problems: its poor governance, its corruption, its abject neglect of the mostly Muslim north, which for years has been the poorest region of the country…
Support for Boko Haram has waned as its attacks on civilians have grown more ruthless. But Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, and the military, lacking the capacity and apparent will to resolve the security crisis, remain deeply unpopular in the north.
Nigeria spends $5.2 billion a year on security, but because of endemic corruption, much of that doesn’t make it to the military’s coffers.
“The army is unable to fight the war. The police are unable to maintain security,” said Clement Nwankwo of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center, a think tank in the capital, Abuja.
“To me there are only two responses. Military force: Subdue them. And good governance. You’ve got to deliver development. You’ve got to end corruption. That’s what brings it to an end.”
One Nigerian city which is the focus of this piece, which has suffered repeated attacks, is Barawa. I encourage you to read the entirety of this LA Times piece.