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Thousands of Christians flee northern Nigeria

· UN confirms ties between Boko Haram fundamentalists and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb terrorists ·

The situation in northern Nigeria continues to degenerate. It was from here that almost 35,000 Christians fled, according to official estimates. These people are escaping the violence unleashed by the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram, responsible for last weekend's series of attacks which caused almost 200 deaths in Kano, the capital of the region of the same name, in northern Nigeria. The people are panicking and many are escaping, leaving the little which they possess. The visit of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who promised to increase security measures, was not enough to reassure them. Adding to the fear, yesterday there was another explosion, of which the nature is not clear.

In Kano a German engineer, who worked for the Nigerian construction company Dantata et Sawoe, was abducted. Until now no one has claimed responsibility for his abduction. However the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Berlin began investigating the conditions of the kidnapping.

The announcement by the police that four fifths of the 200 Islamic fundamentalist militants arrested as suspects of the attacks are mercenaries from Chad has only served to make things worse. This announcement would seem to confirm the ties between Boko Haram and organized terrorist groups rooted in fundamental Islam, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), which operate in the Sahel and Sahara belt. A UN report states that Boko Haram established ties with AQMI, while some of its members from Nigeria and Chad received training from AQMI camps in Mali in the summer of 2011.

According to the UN report the country where arms and terrorists travel nearly undisturbed seems to be Niger, due to the war that devastated the border of Libya. Ex-soldiers and mercenaries of the Libyan conflict, through smuggling with Niger, sold arms, bombs, explosives to terrorist groups. The Nigerian authorities recently intercepted a convoy of 445 detonators and 645 kilograms of explosives. Among other things the fight against terrorism has a high cost for the local people, already one of the poorest in the world. In order to increase funds by 65% for defence and security, the Nigerian government has taken away education and health care resources.

UN analysis has been confirmed by both the findings at the summit of the Sahel countries held this week in Nouakchott, capital of  Mauritania, and by the Nigerian secret services and U.S. Military officials in charge of Western Africa, working this week in the Nigerian capital Abuja at a summit with top security officials in Nigeria.




St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2019