Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is forbidden,” is a Nigeria-based Islamic fundamentalist terrorism organization with connections to al-Qaeda. The insurgent group is the deadliest terrorist organization on the planet, followed closely by ISIS. Unfortunately, the two became allies in 2015.
Boko Haram, which has been plaguing northeastern Nigeria for the past 7 years, is responsible for thousands of deaths and the displacement of 1.5 million people. Statistics show that Boko Haram can be blamed for more than 50% of all global deaths attributed to terrorism (making them far more dangerous than ISIS).
This week, Colonel Sani Usman of the Nigerian Army has declared Boko Haram extinguished. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari made a similar claim last December, which unfortunately turned out to be a false hope.
“We have come to the point that we can beat our chest and decisively say we have dealt with Boko Haram,” said Usman. “The situation in the northeast has tremendously improved. The military operations or the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the northeast is hinged on three things: first, defeating the Boko Haram terrorists which have been accomplished and making room to facilitate humanitarian assistance which is also ongoing. Then restoration of law and order for good and governance to take place. We no longer have camps of Boko Haram terrorists and we no longer have them conveyed in the territories.”
The latest estimates put Boko Haram’s fighting force between 7,000 and 10,000, and many are convinced that Usman’s claims about defeating Boko Haram are just talk.
Boko Haram, which has been accused of cannibalism, is known for its extreme brutality in weeding out and murdering Nigerian Christians. The group is responsible for the infamous incident in April of 2014 in which nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from a single boarding school. Despite the headlines and press coverage, only 2 of those girls have been found.
The terrorism scourge has spread outwards from Nigeria, and plans to eventually conquer all of Africa. America has provided aid to Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad in the fight against Boko Haram.
This evil organization must be stopped, and I sincerely hope that Nigeria’s claims to have defeated Boko Haram are true this time. For now, all we can do is wait and see what happens in upcoming months.
Editor’s note: Somehow I don’t thing we have seen the last of Boko Haram, but if I were Obama, I’d be applying resources to this area to help them “mop up.”