[ View the story "What's motivating Boko Haram?" on Storify] What's motivating Boko Haram? Since its formation more than a decade ago, thousands of civilians have been killed in bombings and attacks. However, the group's fundamental goal remains unclear.
The Stream· Tue, May 07 2013 11:23:13
In April, Nigerian security forces clashed with Boko Haram fighters in the northeastern town of Baga. The gun battle led to the destruction of more than
and reported deaths of approximately
, though the exact numbers have been
difficult to verify.
Human Rights Watch created a map of the destruction:
2,275 homes were destroyed during a military raid to hunt down Boko Haram militants in the Baga Town of #Nigeria pic.twitter.com/q7NpvosNhaA. Sencer Gözübenli
Govt is arguing over figures; it doesn't really matter if death toll in #Baga was 200, 32 or even 10. They were Nigerians & were murdered!Xception to d rule
Did #Boko #Haram attack #Baga? No. This was a gun battle between the insurgents and the Nigerian Army. #Baga happened to be the locationbabatunde rosanwo
Human Rights Watch said conflicting reports of the incident raised concerns about a possible
of military abuses. Meanwhile, some
criticised the government's strategy in fighting Boko Haram.
In the following video, local representatives from northern Nigeria's Borno state discuss how the fighting has affected their communities:
Senate Tasks Committee To Investigate Baga Carnagechannelsweb
Netizens also critiqued the government's tactics, with some expressing frustration with President Goodluck Jonathan's
plans to offer amnesty
to Boko Haram. So far, the idea of government-granted amnesty
has been rejected
by the group.
Only a spineless and craven government can countenance amnesty for #Boko Haram.Ariyo Steven Osiegbu
Boko Haram keeps killing innocent Nigerians and you're planning on Amnesty....This generation and d coming will not forgive you.Johnson UDINOV™
@AJStream How can Nigeria grant murderers amnesty, its not done anywhere in the world, what we do is to jail them or destroy them.#BOKOHARAMChidi Nwaogu
@AJStream why should d BH group be giving amnesty. What have they to offer?? Has Nigeria become a failed state??Benjamin Bature
Others blamed the government for the Baga incident, as well as for greater instability within Nigeria.
How do thugs in government uniforms go ransacking people's homes & destroy their lives & dreams & whatever little hope they've got?! #BagaPayme
The government is d most active organ of Boko Haram, th Baga massacre should be addressed and th people should wake up and revolt #AJStreamAisha Habib Aliyu
Our Government Is The Real Bokoharam. They May Not Be Bombing Us. But Slowly Destroying Our Children's Future - Seun KutiBadmus Biodun Taiwo
Below, Father David Bridling of St. Patrick's Cathedral explains to The Stream how the security situation is worsening in Maiduguri, the largest city in Borno state.
Father David Bridlingajstream
Boko Haram, which means "western education is forbidden", has been active in northern Nigeria since the early 2000s. The group's latest insurgency
began in 2009
following the death of its leader Mohammed Yusuf.
"Boko Haram" leader Mohammed Yusuf Interrogation before his execution by Nigerian security agentssaharatv
Since that time,
has allegedly assumed leadership. However, the group remains largely
, making it difficult for government officials to initiate negotiations.
Boko Haram Leader Declares War On Nigerian Christiansbingolad87
50% of Nigeria's population Christians, 47% Muslims in addition to minorities,instead of fighting poverty they decided to fight each others!Maha Sekla
The Stream asked its online community,
"How has Boko Haram affected your life?"
@AJStream. I am a nigerian muslim and the activities of boko haram have greatly changed the view of islam in the eyes of our xtians.('Kabir)Abdulraheem Ayodeji.
Most of christians aren,t going 2 church bc of boko haramayubahassan
@AJStream .. Its taken our freedom, and has given more room for victimising muslims. Boko haram is political.They should be tackled that wayOpeyemi