Jan. 6, 2015

While Focusing on ISIL, U.S. Forgot About Boko Haram

So much for Twitter campaigns. In April, First Lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter to get tough on terrorist group Boko Haram for abducting more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls. Maybe the Twitter shaming led Boko Haram to repent and act like a normal terrorist group. Instead of simply abducting people, Boko Haram is now emulating the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant, which swept through Iraq and Syria, and is now in control of a swath of Nigeria the Wall Street Journal says is the size of Belgium. It has captured cities the size of Reno or Buffalo. Military bases are overrun. WSJ writes, “On Thursday, it overran the village of Malari and kidnapped about 40 boys and young men there, witnesses said. As it raided Baga on Saturday, Boko Haram also tore through four nearby villages, killing about 300 people, said the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, a self-defense militia whose members fled. ‘Their situation is so bad,’ said Maina Ma'aji Lawan, the senator for the area. ‘The military has abandoned the very residents they were meant to protect.’” The situation is exacerbated by a struggling Nigerian government, which spends 20% of its budget on its military and makes 80% of its revenue through oil. More…

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