They said they would

As promised, fucking Boko Haram has grabbed more girls.

Of course it has. It’s easy. Soft targets. Villages of ordinary people; it’s dead easy to burst in with guns and grab a bunch of the girls. Anybody could do that at any time. But decent people don’t do that. We’re all soft targets; we don’t all prey on each other just because we can.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped eight girls aged 12 to 15 from a village near one of their strongholds in northeast Nigeria overnight, police and residents said today.

“They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army colour. They started shooting in our village,” said Lazarus Musa, a resident of Warabe, where the attack happened.

So what could the people of Warabe do? Nothing. So the men with guns were able to grab the girls.

Homo homini lupus.

 

 

Saratu’s father fainted

I read the Guardian article again (I read it the first time a few days ago when I did a post about it) and I don’t think the Guardian is being euphemistic here. The way the story is set up, the news that the girls “are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants” was taken very hard – the news was worse than they were hoping, not better. I assumed that was because 1. it confirmed they were being raped (but there can’t have been much doubt of that in any case) and 2. it meant they were all the more firmly trapped.

Let’s look at it again.

For two weeks, retired teacher Samson Dawah prayed for news of his niece Saratu, who was among more than 230 schoolgirls snatched by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Then on Monday the agonising silence was broken.

When Dawah called together his extended family members to give an update, he asked that the most elderly not attend, fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say. “We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants,” Dawah told his relatives.

Saratu’s father fainted; he has since been in hospital. [Read more...]

Finally paying attention

Nick Cohen points out – as I’ve been pointing out – that the Nigerian schoolgirls haven’t been kidnapped but enslaved. They weren’t just yanked away to be hostages or bargining chips or shields, but to be sexual slaves and, no doubt, labor slaves as well.

A desire for sexual supremacy accompanies their loathing of knowledge. They take 220 schoolgirls as slaves and force them to convert to their version of Islam. They either rape them or sell them on for £10 or so to new masters. The girls are the victims of slavery, child abuse and forced marriage. Their captors are by extension slavers and rapists. [Read more...]

In the forest

Bodunrin Kayode gives us some useful background on the Sambisa Forest.

A few months ago, the name Sambisa Forest meant nothing to many Nigerians. Not anymore. It has come to signify terror and home to the terrorist group Boko Haram. The forest is now almost mythical for so many people within the Lake Chad basin who have come to align the complex north-eastern vegetation with Boko Haram, instead of the game reserve the colonialists meant it for.

The colonial government had marked the forest out as a game reserve. Today, Sambisa has become one of the strongest bases of the Boko Haram insurgents who run back into its dark recesses anytime they have finished their slaughter of harmless citizens. [Read more...]

Her voice breaking as she recounted the nightmare

The Guardian reports that the families of the enslaved schoolgirls are losing hope.

Hamma Balumai, a farmer whose 16-year-old daughter Hauwa was snatched, pooled his savings with other parents and ventured on a two-day trek into the forest this week. “Even my wife was begging to come as she is so disturbed she hasn’t been able to eat anything. Our daughter Hauwa is only 16 years old and she has been missing for 11 days now,” he told the Guardian. [Read more...]

Living in fear of Boko Haram

Kyari Mohammed, who is a teacher in north-east Nigeria – Boko Haram territory – writes in the Guardian about what it’s like to live in fear of Education Forbidden.

I live in fear of Boko Haram. The group’s insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009. Yola in Adamawa state, where I live and teach history, is relatively calm at the moment. But following the imposition of a state of emergency in 2013 many of my colleagues have fled. [Read more...]