ICC Note: Just weeks following the January 30 Boko Haram massacre of villages around Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, the country faces difficult questions about how to continue to battle the lingering insurgency, considering the rampant corruption and human rights abuses present in the military. President Muhammadu Buhari’s Christmas Eve comments asserting Boko Haram “technically defeated,” continually reveal themselves as a serious miscalculation. Boko Haram ravaged the northeast Nigeria town of Dalori and surrounding villages with unimaginable brutality, burning families inside their homes and employing suicide bombers to murder and maim escapees.
2/9/16 Maiduguri, Nigeria (NYT) – Even by Boko Haram’s appalling standards, the raid on the small village of Dalori in northeastern Nigeria was horrific: Children were burned to death in their huts; residents fleeing flames and bullets were blown up by suicide bombers running with them. In the end scores were dead and much of the village was in ashes, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s claims of a “technical” victory against the Islamist militants seemed dubious. This is a war that will require far more than a few military successes to win.
Boko Haram, whose name is loosely translated as “Western education is a sin,” has been waging a ruthless Islamist terror campaign of bloody raids and suicide bombings for years in Nigeria’s northeast, the poorest region of the country. The militants achieved special notoriety in 2014 when they abducted more than 200 schoolgirls, most of whom are still missing. The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, did little to curb them, one reason he lost in elections last March to Mr. Buhari, a former general and onetime dictator who pledged to rout Boko Haram and end corruption at all levels of government.