A Nigerian school was attacked Tuesday night, leaving 29 students dead. Authorities believe the group responsible is Boko Haram, a radical Islamic group responsible for many attacks against schools and others institutions they consider to have adopted “evil” western ways. The militant group’s name is translated as “western education is sin.” The group has been responsible for countless acts of violence against the public including kidnapping, bombing school and churches as well as countless murders. Last year Boko Haram reportedly abducted a group of young women. They have also been known to use children as young as 13 in their campaign against the government, according to Human Rights Watch.
Teachers at the school during the time of the attack said the gunmen gathered all female students, telling them to leave, get married and abandon their education. The gunmen then proceeded to fire upon the sleeping male students and lighting the school on fire before escaping into the night. It took nearly five hours for the government to respond to the attack. The remote region of Gwoza, which border Cameroon, has too few military personal to effectively respond to these attacks, despite the Nigerian President declaring a state of emergency in the three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa.
President Goodluck Jonathan launched an offensive against the group back in May, calling the attacks “Heinous, brutal and mindless.” The attacks have been so frequent and destructive President Jonathan has had to extend the state of emergency among the states. Locals have criticized the government for being unable to stop the radical group from attacking its citizens. Last September another attack at an agricultural college claimed the life of 40 students while last week an estimated 200 people were killed during two more Boko Haram attacks. The Nigerian government is working with Cameroon authorities to prevent the murderous group from escaping over the border if they should attack another Nigerian School.
Human Rights Watch has stated that since 2009, when the group first emerged nearly 3,000 lives have been lost in subsequent raids. The group has only become increasingly violent with attacks becoming more frequent. The President of Nigeria has assured the public that everything possible is being done to bring a stop to these attacks and bring those responsible for such atrocities to justice. Their primary targets seem to be institutions that teach the government mandated curriculum which they believe is corrupting the youth and has no place in a Nigerian School
Boko Haram has stated they intend to replace the current government leadership and establish a new state ruled under their strict Islamic law. The conflict comes from a deep-set ideological war between the Christian and Islamic groups in Nigeria. Although the conflict is not new to the region, Boko Haram has gained great notoriety for their violent raids and shameless crimes against humanity. Boko Haram targets any who do not adhere to their beliefs and has shown there is no line they are unwilling to cross in the name of their crusade. The hunt for Boko Haram continues out in the remote regions of Yobe, for now the group is still at large ready to assault another Nigerian School. With the tally of senseless deaths rising many locals live in fear of being targeted by a group who has so far eluded all attempts of capture.
By Eric Ohm