Near the end of January, a terrorist group known as Boko Haram massacred eighty six civilians residing in villages located in northeastern Nigeria. Children were shown no mercy in these horrendous attacks that took place at night. The attacks occurred in the city of Maiduguri, where Boko Haram originated. The brutal attacks continued for hours, targeting camps that homed nearly twenty-five thousand refugees. Maiduguri was not the only area to be confronted with such violence. The village of Dalori was faced with an attack where many victims were burned or shot. Eyewitnesses observed the attacks and reported that extremists involved with Boko Haram firebombed huts. Survivors reported that the attackers came in multiple motorcycles and golf saloon cars, leaving nothing but destruction in their raid. Unfortunately the attacks did not stop there; three women who were suicide bombers attacked the nearby village Gamori. This attack managed to hit survivors who saved themselves from the previous wave of attacks.
Many survivors criticized the Nigerian military, stating that any form of help from the military came too late. The first set of troops who were sent to Dalori did not have the ability or strength to overpower the terrorists, who had stronger weapons.. These events are barely touched by the media, and it is not the first time terrorist attack in Nigeria that has gone relatively unnoticed. Last year over two-thousand Nigerians were killed by this terrorist group in the city of Baga along with sixteen villages nearby. Towns were lit by fire and burned down, because of this survivors had no other choice but to find refuge in Lake Chad, where refugees faced threats such as starvation and animal attacks while they waited for some kind of aid. This is one of the most brutal events to occur in this day and age, which caused the town of Baga to fall. There have been countless acts of terrorism in Nigeria, but not many people in the West seem to know about it or care. Keep in mind that this happened near the same time frame of the Paris attacks, so why did one tragic event generate more attention and media coverage than the other event?
Michael Owunna, “Another Devastating Terrorist Attack Happened Last Week – And Nobody Seems to Care,” World.Mic, January 12, 2015 http://mic.com/articles/108192/terrorists-killed-2-000-people-in-nigeria-last-week-so-why-doesn-t-the-world-care#.dOeB68EH2
Maeve Shearlaw, “Why Did the World Ignore Boko Haram’s Baga Attacks?” The Guardian, January 12, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/12/-sp-boko-haram-attacks nigeria-baga-ignored-media
Maeve Shearlaw, “Boko Haram: Children among Villagers Burned to Death in Nigeria Attack,” The Guardian, February 1, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/01/boko-haram-attack-children-among-villagers-burned-to-death-in-nigeria
“Over 80 Killed, Children Burnt to Death in Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria,” RT International, January 13, 2016, https://www.rt.com/news/330824-boko-haram-children-attack/
Student Researcher: Tahina Jean, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College