AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Boko Haram has no qualms in killing innocent people", said Mgr. Kaigama

Friday, 20 September 2013

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Undoubtedly Boko Haram is still well organized and well armed despite the military offensive that has been going on for three months in the northern states of Nigeria", says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama Archbishop of Jos and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, after the new episodes of violence attributed to Boko Haram. On the evening of September 17, in the Borno State (northeast Nigeria), the Islamist militants disguised as soldiers of the army killed at least 87 people and destroyed several homes. On September 18, a commando of Boko Haram attacked the town of Yadi Buni (in the Yobe State) setting fire to some public buildings. In the assault at least two people were killed.
"The army has deployed since May, an important military contingent in three States of the North" recalls Mgr. Kaigama. "The problem is that Boko Haram does not obey the rules of conventional war, but acts with guerrilla tactics. This means that while the army has to operate avoiding to harm innocent citizens, the men of Boko Haram instead attack crowded places: markets, schools and places of worship. Boko Haram makes absolutely no qualms about killing innocent non-combatants" says the Archbishop.
According to information gathered, heavy weapons have been used in recent assaults, such as anti-aircraft guns. "Boko Haram is not a local phenomenon. We are no longer in front of, like a few years ago, a group of guerrillas armed only with bows and arrows, but we have to face a well-funded organization", said Mgr. Kaigama. "Among the members of Boko Haram there are people who know how to use the Internet very well, well-trained guerrillas and managers of efficient logistics and intelligence". "Our authorities have to identify where the money and the weapons that fuel Boko Haram come from and where its men are trained, in order to stop their actions. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet and Boko Haram continues to cause grief and suffering, embarrassing the authorities of our Country", concluded Mgr. Kaigama. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/09/2013)