Does the West loathe or like Boko Haram?

By Robert Madu

Daily and steadily, the United States, Britain and their allied passportpartners
continue to lose the grip, scope and capacity of easily trashing Boko Haram as the terrorist network musters strength and sophistication. Such adds to the burden of the continent even as the entire North Africa still lives with the unending consequences of Arab spring. The Central Africa Republic is mainly ungovernable due to the activities of Seleka rebels and Christian militias. The East of Africa is highly dominated by the EL-Shabab terrorist network and now, the extremist of all, Boko Haram in the West of Africa. There are more splinter rebel/terrorist networks in many of the regions of Africa and somehow linked with the major ones. Africa is at cross-road of terrorism harvests and 2015 represents the best of the unknown but hundreds of human lives have already been lost due to the activities of these dare-devils. I pity Nigeria! Yes, it is the most populous black nation in the world, home to one in every four black person in the world.
America’s refusal to sell high-tech war machineries capable of drastically reducing or eliminating the threat of Boko Haram is a policy blunder. Sharing of intelligence and overall security co-operation are not enough in this era of security challenges. America’s claim of Nigerian government’s poor human rights record is untenable given the fact that many other African nations with similar poor human rights record today, host UN peace-keeping forces.
The French has a more practical solution in curbing terrorism in Africa. At the height of instability and insurgence in Central African Republic, the French intervened and made sure Bangui caters for the needs of the citizenry. Also, the French intervened in Mali to curb the expansion of M23. However, Britain is nowhere to be found in the larger picture and Nigeria increasingly feels uncomfortable and simply left alone.
China has a very high stake in South Sudan oil and such may have informed the Chinese decision to send combat troop to the country to help and quell the rebellion. One wonders if America is increasingly detaching from its junior ally, Nigeria which used to be a major source of America’s oil. Maybe the effective assistance is not coming because Boko Harm operates in the North East of Nigeria and far from where the oil lasts. However, US shale oil through the fracturing technology has changed the diplomatic calculus between Nigeria and America as the latter is significantly not willing to commit its military to save One Nigeria.
America needs to understand that Boko Haram is one of the negative elements of globalization in view of the fact that the network makes use of plethora of media and swiftly shares resources and knowledge with other terror networks. Just this week, the network struck a military base both in Northern Nigeria and Cameroon. Civilian casualties arising from Boko Harm terror has surpassed that of ISIS in Iraq and many wonder what America and their allied powers are still waiting for. It is no longer just Nigerian problem but more of the region.
The re-calculation is that the Sect is continually developing the capability to wipe the whole of West Africa. There are growing predictions that the crisis will extend to the South of Nigeria within some few coming years. Oil or no oil, there are other interests, so sacred and worth protecting and that is where America should stand. As the 2015 general election comes closer and the network increases its terror in the North and Nigerian government security seems over-stretched and many of its combatants low in morale for many reasons, America should re-consider its embargo policy in the overall interest of African continent.
America should push for combative attack against Boko Haram and explore all the support and opportunities within the United Nations Security Council as the last option to keep stable nations within the West African region. In the absence of such a security strategy, scholars will continue to argue that America is on the verge of supporting Boko Haram.

Robert Madu, Ph.D is a freelance journalist and could be reached via:

Posted by on Feb 13 2015. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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