In a show of solidarity, 50 heads of state, including leaders from Benin, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, attended the protests in Paris, France this week following the shooting of 11 staff members of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. While there, many of those represented openly questioned the lack of Western support for the fight against radical Islamic insurgencies, like Boko Haram, which has killed, abducted and enslaved, and forcefully converted to Islam thousands in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
01/14/2015 Nigeria (World Watch Monitor) – Several African leaders, concerned by the rise of Islamism in the continent, attended the Paris anti-terror march, on Sunday, January 11th.
Among the 50 foreign leaders who marched there, African heads of state included those from Mali, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Togo, and Gabon. They all expressed their sympathy to France and the need for global action to tackle jihadist groups, increasingly active in sub-Saharan Africa.
In North-Eastern Nigeria, the bloodletting continued, as at least 23 people were killed at the weekend by three female suicide bombers, one thought to be 10 years old. The BBC reported witnesses who said that she appeared to be unaware she was carrying a bomb.
On January 3, militants launched an attack of extreme violence in Baga, Borno State, close to Lake Chad, which borders Chad. Local officials told the BBC that as many as 2000 people may have lost their lives. Almost two weeks after the attack, the Defence Ministry (known to under-estimate in the past) said those dead were no more than 150, including terrorists. However, almost the entire town had been torched and several churches burned down.
The militants have also raided 16 nearby villages and towns. According to the UN, over 11,000 people have fled to Chad since the attack on Baga.
In reaction to these attacks, the Archbishop of Jos, and President of the Catholic Episcopal conference of Nigeria, accused the West of ignoring the threat of the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram.