Boko Haram's reign of terror in Nigeria

Fodei J. Batty

The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram released a video on Monday in which they took credit for the kidnapping of hundreds of girls from a school located in Nigeria's northeast Borno state. In the video, Abubaker Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, threatened to sell the girls he had kidnapped. 

Fodei J. Batty, assistant professor of political science at the College of Arts and Sciences, is available to comment.

"The threat of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria is a problem that was allowed to fester because a lot of people, including the Nigerian government, thought the group was a local threat," said Batty.    

"I have been telling students in my classes for a long time that the atrocities attributed to Boko Haram are one of our greatest contemporary human rights crises as a global community. The kidnapping of the girls is just another chapter in a long line of atrocities visited on the local people of Northern Nigeria by the group. However, the Nigerian government is also complicit in the emergence of Boko Haram as a major terrorist group because of the measures--extra-judicial killings, etc.--that they have used to counter the group. In recent months, the group has increased its bombing campaigns as well as attacks on mostly innocent civilians.     

"Nigeria is now Africa's largest economy and a major trading partner--mostly oil--with the United States. What happens in Nigeria matters here in America in terms of our sense of a global community and in terms of a major regional power that is depended upon by the United States and her allies to help stabilize that part of the world."  

To arrange an interview with Batty, please contact John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, at 203-582-5359 (office) or 203-206-4449 (cell).  

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