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2013-03-11

AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Boko Haram is now divided into several groups, among which there is Ansaru" said Mgr. Kaigama

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "There is no entity called Boko Haram but a number of groups that use this symbol which are now divided among them," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos and President of the Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, where seven foreign citizens (of Lebanese, British, Greek and Italian nationality) kidnapped last February by the group Ansaru, were killed.
"Ansaru is one of them and specialized in the kidnapping and unfortunately the killing of foreign citizens," said Mgr. Kaigama. "Another group instead appealed for a ceasefire in exchange for amnesty for its members (see Fides 29/01/2013), but was disavowed by others that refer to the same initials" says the Archbishop. "The question is now more complex than before. Boko Haram as a unified and organized body no longer exists and the multiplication of the groups that appeal to Boko Haram code is complicating the problem because these groups seem to obey a different logic and principals "
According to various sources Nigerians claiming to belong to Boko Haram were found among jihadist groups operating in the north of Mali.
"This does not surprise me," said Mgr. Kaigama. "Boko Haram in fact is no longer a local matter, but it is an issue that affects many African countries and beyond. Let us remember that in Cameroon some French citizens recently were kidnapped that were then transferred to Nigeria. These criminal groups are spreading in several areas adjacent to Nigeria."
To address the problem a coordinated effort between the Nigerian authorities and those of the African countries involved is necessary," concludes the Archbishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2013)

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