tv Inside Story Al Jazeera January 15, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST
will find comments and analysis that takes you behind our headline stories also got blogs from our reporters on the ground all around the world. do check it out. aljazerra.com is where you need to go. . >> in the same stretch of days muslim radicals killed 16 people in france and hundreds in nigeria. the two very different killings got two different reactions. in one case mobilization and worldwide condemnation. in another case, a shrug? it's inside story.
>> hello, i'm ray suarez. for boko haram, the islamic extremist group in nigeria nothing seems beyond the pale. add to the long list of kidnappings, execution, torture, rape and mass murder the recent destruction of a whole town and the killing of its citizens and cases of young girls sentenced to marketplaces with bombs strapped to their bodies killing dozens more. haven't heard about it? don't be embarrassed. the world 's gaze seems to be upon a different area of the world in the aftermath of murders in paris. >> millions of people from around the world flooded the streets of paris waving pens flags, and signs repeating the message je suis charlie. i am charlie. 40 international dignitaryies linked arms, showing solidarity
with french president françois hollande. this week france is still on high alert. 10,000 troops were deployed throughout the country. many standing guard at jewish schools. while france was in the middle of its crisis last week after the killing of 17 independent people by homegrown extremists more than 3,000 miles away in nigeria a long known internal threat was unfolding a far more deadly rampage. these people are refugees from a town of baga where bow could boko haram burned down homes and killed a huge number of people. >> boko haram remains a huge threat. you just have to look at the past week to know that, and we're trying to get more information about numbers. >> nigeria researcher of amnesty international wrote in a press
release the attack on baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be boko haram's deadliest attack in a catalog of extreme heinous attacks performed by the group. the town was razed to the ground and if the report of 2,000 civilians are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of boko haram's ongoing onslaught against the civilian population. a 10-year-old girl web walked into a market with an explosive vest. she killed 20 shoppers and herself. on monday boko haram attack admit base in neighboring cameroon. ahmed idris reported from nigeria. >> remember, boko haram is holding a lot of territory on the nigerian side, and it's
trying to push its oppression into cameroon. >> then tuesday a suits bomber killing two and injuring 14. while the militant group continues to rampage across the region a new video from its pore pottered leader appeared wednesday celebrating the paris attacks. >> we are very happy with what happened in france. god is great. god is great. this is great news to hear, my brothers. >> more than 10,000 people were killed in the ongoing violence in nigeria just last year. >> on this edition of "inside
story," boko haram has founded in 2002. the nigerian government has trouble standing up to the well-armed group with thousands of fighters and control of towns and villages across 20,000 square miles. last year boko haram kidnapped more than 270 nigerian school girls which drew international condemnation, more than 200 of those girls are still missing. the rising death toll in northeastern nigeria and cameroon on on the program, is the world worked up about the threats to nigeria, a country with huge oil deposits and long-standing problem s, as it is france? with us, our guests.
>> this is a part of the world that you're very familiar with. tell us about northeastern nigeria. who lives there. is it ethnically and linguistic linguistically a diverse place? >> thank you for having me ray. certainly the northeastern part of nigeria is located in the north, and it has a very diverse population with both muslims and christians, who for a long time has been coexisting peacefully before boko haram started this violence. i am from this area. i've been talking with people
from home, and the people there feel sad, helpless, hopeless of their own government. this is an area that has a history political marginalization. certainly that a humanitarian crisis particularly in towns and cities and villages that boko haram has attacked. as i'm talking with you now people are in the capitol, one of the biggest states in the northeast, and there is a humanitarian crisis. people can no longer farm. people can no longer conduct their business. people are afraid to accepted their children to school because boko haram are attacking schools, marketplaces, anything,
most military and civilian target. life in that area is quite traumatizing and frustrating for the people. for quite a long time we've been saying that this is an issue that requires international attention this requires the attention of the my year an government. the area we're talking about is as large as--yes. >> a large diverse area, bordering other countries. is it just because it's oh remote and hard for outsiders to cover and bring to the world media that it got a very different amount of attention and different reaction from the attacks in paris? >> i think that the remoteness was a factor. but i cannot honestly say in my opinion that that was the only consideration. i mean, it is part of africa.
you can take any nation in the world and count on one hand how many bureaus they have covering africa. africa does not get the attention that it deserves. it is not just the news media. it is also government operations. i mean, the government. as you mentioned 40 heads of state went to paris. i'm sure they all knew about boko haram because boko haram has been violent for five years. they didit's not that they did not know. they did not care enough. >> advising governments there, advising governmenting here, how do you explain--did you notice this very different reaction to events in the same span of days, and how did you explain it? >> well, i think it starts with the area itself.
you have in france you have the reaction of the government. in nigeria the people say that the government was not involved directly but has number of a of people in place. they have the army, and as the elections appear for president in nigeria, this is an area that is outside of government attention. the nigerian military is the first responsible. after that as has been my--as my colleague noted we don't pay that much attention to africa the same way we do to things in europe, particularly in europe or the larger countries of asia. >> aminu gamawa, do you agree that this latest attack represents something different?
a kind of escalation, a kind of extremity that is different from the kinds of things that boko haram was doing earlier. the attack on baga. >> this is not the first time that boko haram is attacking baga. it was attacked in 2003, and they've been attacking and capturing villages, and wiping out villages, and killing people. this is just a continuation. the skill of the attack has been increasing since last year, but this is different. this is what boko haram has been doing. even today they attempted to capture a town, but they were failed by the military. this is something that has been going on. it's just that people have not been paying attention. one thing that i want to point out is that the boko haram conflict has been under reported for two major reasons. one, most of the areas affected
by this violence, they don't have access to internet and phone. a lot of information we hear actually are from the survivors and people who have come to come from these areas. they always try to down play and reduce the number of casualties just to make the government look good. for example, at the baga attack, i'm speaking to you now, it is still under the control of boko haram, but the government issued a statement disputing the number of the people who died. how did they know? did they send somebody there to investigate? no. but certainly they want to play politics with it. and the president, this is the most painful part of it, the president is yet to issue his testament, condolence to the people of baga about the attack. he has issued a statement about
what happened in paris. that tells you how the government has mismanaged and abandoned the people of the northeast of nigeria. that's why many people are not happy with the government. they feel like the president is more interested in winning the next election than in the security problem that has been affecting the northeast, which does not address as we've seen now, it will not only escalate to other parts of nigeria but escalate to cameroon chad and niger. boko haram has started to attack cameroon already, and we've seen that at the border towns in chad and cameroon. but the president was in paris marching. no one has come to nigeria to sympathize with us or collaborate with the nigerian government to find a solution to this problem. this is really a very serious issue that has been mismanaged by the government and the
% >> you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. we're looking at the latest attacks from boko haram. world leaders flock to paris after the terrible killings of 17 people over the course of three days. in the same stretch of days the nigerian al-qaeda ally is reported to have killed as many as 2,000, and it did not make the same kind of headlines. as the group extends its reach into eastern nigeria and neighboring countries, it's pastime to ask what does boko haram want?
does it have a political program? nii akuetteh? >> i doubt it. but because they have said so many different things. by my own count there was one final they said they want call christians out of northern nigeria. there was one time when they said they wanted to talk. the government attempted to talk with them, they wouldn't talk. they have said originally they want to see sharia law in nigeria. that has not happened. i think the time frame in which they became so violent needs to be taken into account. they've been there for the past 12-13 years. now nigeria is a democracy, of course, not a perfect democracy, but if you want the system to change, and you want to win votes and per wade the majority of nigerians, why continue killing most of their victims have been muslims themselves. from what i can read, and
because they've said so many different things, they kill because they can. and they like to come up and grab attention and do these things. beyond that, i'm not convinced about what they really want. >> william zartman, is it the kind of 21st century group without a clear program but able through social media, through video, to to capture the world's attention so it really does not need a political program. >> the time will come when it needs it. but it's not the 21st century. we've had groups like this before. in mozambique it went off for a half decade without any program. just killing, destroying, and their purpose was destroying. in fact, they could not get a party congress together to build a program, and then to negotiate with the people in mozambique. the same thing was true about the groups in liberia.
who were just out for an expression of rage, of alienation, and not having anything else to do. this was a way of showing how they were fed up with the situation. not even fed up, but just loose ends. this is one thing that they could do. when groups like this become successful in the context of this type of event, then they find that they have territory, then they have to start operating like the state, like the government, they have to take care of their people and we'll see what happens now that they have a large area. will they be able to convert into some kind of governing program? >> aminu gamawa. that's the hard part to figure. some of these crimes don't seem to be designed to win either allegiance or at least a fearful obedience or anything.
they seem to be much a annihilate annihilatistic in their outcome. >> they said they wanted to create a sharia state. but who are they killing? they're killing muslims. theythose who are rejected the boko haram ideology, that's why many of them are being killed on a daily basis for their refusal to subscribe to that understanding of islam. they only use islam, but the nigerian islams have say that they don't in any way represent the muslims. up until now the majority of the
areas they've captured, they still return to those areas. there is a strong need for the government to avoid the population being brainwashed or radicalized. >> quickly before we go to a break do we have to assume that they're getting support from outside of nigeria, in order to keep on in their current rampage rampage? >> well, if you look at the arms they used, if you look at the operation, if you look at the kind of activities that they carry out, there is no way that they can do those things without support from either neighboring countries or from outside. and this is one of the things that we've been saying to the nigerian government. in order to stop boko haram, you need to know who is financing them, and you need to end their save safe havens. >> we'll come back after another break.
has the world turned it's back on nigeria ? have they gotten attention proportionate to the risk? stay with us. >> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the security council. >> about issues that impact your world. >> infectious diseases are a major threat to health. >> "the week ahead". sunday 8:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
>> welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez we've seen how ebola can shake societies to their very foundation. is boko haram's path of destruction across nigeria and now neighboring countries more threatening? still with us, william zartman of african studies at johns hopkins university. aminu gamawa, a specialist with collaborative development. and nii akuetteh, independent africa analyst. is nigeria being left to its fate?
>> it's being left to his fates. the government has the primary responsibility to meeting this. the first responsibility is for the government to take care of the welfare of its people. after that the second pillar is outside countries should help the government in doing that. >> has my year gentleman asked for, and has it received help from the you community. >> drones and intelligence was given but then it was topped by the united states because there was not much interest in it. nigeria has gotten some help. i would think that it needs more help.
this used to be after's prime army. where is it now? >> nii akuetteh, you heard them laying the problem at the feet of goodluck jonathan, do you agree? >> not quite. nigeria used to be very democratic. it's not perfect, but there is a lot of discussion and disagreement i lived in nigerian i happen to think that good goodluck jonathan gets less credit than . they have gone in to cameroon.
they took the cameroonian air force to dislodge them. but the thing that frightens me you go 200 miles you're in central africa republic which has turned out to be a religious war between muslims and christians, and the muslim communities are radicalized. they are armed because they have been abused. it scares me to think that one day we'll wake up to think that boko haram has linked up to them and with somalia not far away, we know that boko haram would be readily accepted in mali. i think that the international community needs to take it as seriously as it takes isis, and the problem in iraq. when the iraqi government proved that it could not really handle it, they stepped in. they didn't say, well, we'll wait until you get your act together.
i think that the international community is shortchanging nigeria. not to say that nigeria has handle it perfectly. >> aminu gamawa. is this a threat that should be seen wide of africa not just to the stability of nigeria? >> exactly. and the doesn't understand this or refuse to understand this. because if you look at the troops sent into the area. the troops have been underfunded, under equipped. we need 200,000, 300 troops. we have less than 50,000 there. i think that the government needs to take a look and they need to see this as a threat to the whole region, which needs to be addressed. the international community can and should do more to help the people of northern nigeria and surrounding countries. there should be
help for those displaced. it shows that they don't really care about what is happening in the northeast. this will escalate, and it will be bad for the region. i'm appealing to the international community to assist these areas that have been destroyed. their schools have been destroyed. their means of livelihood has been destroyed. you don't need to send in troops, but you can send people to help those communities that have been destroyed. >> aminu gamawa in boston, william zartman here in washington, nii akuetteh, great to talk with you all. thanks for being with us. the program may be over but the conversation continues. we want to hear what you think about the issues raised on today's show. is hashtag #i am nigeria every bit as important as hashtag #
#je suis charlie? you can find me @ray suarez news in washington, i'm ray suarez. >> on "america tonight." robbed on the job. workers in this country losing millions of dollars in wages each year. and many don't even know what the law says they deserve. >> a lot of times people think sweatshops as garment, third world countries. we're saying right here in the united states all kinds of workers are being sweated. and one aspect of being sweated is being robbed of your wages. >> "america tonight's" christof putzel investigates wage theft