Just musing today…
One senseless death is one too many. This post is a reminder of another truth: the senseless death of one person is no more important then that of another person.
What occurred in Paris is terrible, a tragedy, and required it be reported as such….but what occurred this week in Nigeria is just as much a horrific tragedy: the difference being, we saw little real reporting on this story, in comparison, which claimed the lives of up to (and possibly more then) 2000 men, women, and children. Every nightly news program has led with the Paris tragedy, and devoted a goodly portion of their broadcasts to the story. But the story in Nigeria was barely mentioned on the broadcast I watched last evening. If I had to guess I’d say the entire segment was 30 seconds long. Barely a mention.
Only today’s mankind sees the senseless death of one person more important then another—it’s the world we live in. We watched this happen in 1994 with what is now known as the Rwandan Genocide. The media/world ignored it and close to a million people were slaughtered in a three month period.
Boko Haram militants opened fire on northern Nigerian villages, leaving bodies scattered everywhere and as many as 2,000 people feared dead, officials said.
“The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act,” Amnesty International said in a statement.
Islamist militants sprayed bullets as they stormed in last weekend in trucks and armored vehicles, local authorities said Friday. When they arrived, they unloaded motorcycles and pursued residents who fled into the bush, firing indiscriminately, said Baba Abba Hassan, a local district head.
Local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people.
Dead bodies litter the bushes in the area and it is still not safe to go and pick them (up) for burial,” said Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located.
“Some people who hid in their homes were burned alive.”
Raid lasted for days
During the raid that started January 3, hundreds of gunmen seized the town of Baga and neighboring villages, as well as a multinational military base. Attacks started at dawn and continued throughout last weekend, according to residents.
Though local officials gave conflicting death tolls, they agreed on the massive number of fatalities.
More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks on 16 villages, Bukar said.
Tens of thousands displaced
At least 30,000 people were displaced, authorities said. About 20,000 of the displaced camped in Maiduguri city, the capital of Borno state.
Authorities are making arrangements to transport the 10,000 others from Monguno town, 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Baga. Some residents fled into neighboring Cameroon and Chad.
“If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as 2,000 civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” Amnesty International’s Daniel Eyre said.
Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings. It has also kidnapped students, including more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted in April and remain missing.
The Islamist group has said its aim is to impose a stricter form of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.