Interviews with survivors of Boko Haram attacks and women who escaped from Boko Haram captivity. Some harrowing accounts of kidnapped girls being forced to convert to Islam, being forcefully married off to Boko Haram insurgents, raped or being beaten or used as servants.
When one of the victims, a 15-year-old girl, complained to a Boko Haram commander that she and the other abducted girls were too young for marriage, he pointed at his 5-year-old daughter, and said: “If she got married last year, and is just waiting till puberty for its consummation, how can you at your age be too young to marry?”
Twitter interview with journalist Ahmad Salkida on Boko Haram. Salkida is an expert on Boko Haram and knew its former leader Mohammed Yusuf. This is a deep and detailed list of posts by Salkida explaining Boko Haram’s ideology and aims (Storify).
Harrowing documentary about the legions of refugees or “IDPs” (Internally Displaced Persons) in Nigeria who have fled from their homes to get away from areas being attacked by Boko Haram.
Interview with the new Emir of Kano Muhammed Sanusi II (AKA Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) about the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.
Key points made by Sanusi:
- Islam “preaches education for all adherents”.
- Marrying young Muslim girls off at a young age is actually a cultural (not Islamic) practice “that is not consistent with the teachings of the (Muslim) religion)”.
- Poverty level in northern Nigeria provides a fertile breeding ground for militancy. Says the same thing happened in the Niger Delta.
- Boko Haram insurgency must be tackled via an economic “Marshall Plan” for northern Nigeria.
- Says insurgency calmed down in Kano because of investment in infrastructure there.
- “As long as people as gainfully employed they are not likely to jump into the bandwagon of insurgency”.
Click the link below for an excellent interactive map and timeline/summaries (produced by Al-Jazeera) of Boko Haram attacks going back to 2009 when President Yar’Adua was still in power. http://webapps.aljazeera.net/aje/custom/2014/bokoharamtimeline/index.html
Feature on marriages between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. Such marriages are actually common and used to be uncontroversial. However politics and wider controversies in society have suddenly put such marriages on edge.
The above is a podcast interview about Boko Haram’s use of female suicide bombers. Boko Haram has carried out nearly a dozen suicide bombings since 2009, but its use of women as suicide bombers is a new tactic.
Contrary to popular perception, Boko Haram’s cadre includes educated people with degrees in sciences such as chemistry.
Meanwhile nearly 1,000 who fled Boko Haram in Nigeria have arrived in the uninhabited Chadian island of Choua (see images of the refugees above):
Audio interview with journalist Alex Perry who was researched and written about Boko Haram for a long time. Perry alleges that there is no coherent plan to Boko Haram’s attacks, and that it is just violence for the sake of it.
Perry saw a gruesome video of Boko Haram members beheading a hostage and gives his analysis of the groups’s actions.
Good reports on how Boko Haram has infiltrated into Nigeria’s neighbour Cameroon. Boko Haram allegedly take advantage of the huge border between Nigeria and Cameroon to go backwards and forwards between both countries to recruit members and stage attacks.
Locals in Cameroon claim that Boko Haram members quickly bury their dead who are killed in attacks to prevent them from being identified.
One of the most tragic ironies is that thousands of Nigerians have fled from Nigeria into its poorer, smaller, less resourced neighbour Cameroon.