Friday, October 24, 2014

Cease-fire Hopes Wane As Boko Haram Abducts More Women

Over forty Women and girls from two villages in Nigeria's north-eastern Adamawa state have been abducted by suspected militants, residents say. 

The abductions have not been confirmed by the authorities, but residents say they took place a day after the military announced it had agreed a ceasefire with the Boko Haram group.
The government hopes the Islamist group will free more than 200 girls seized in April as part of negotiations.

Boko Haram is yet to confirm the truce. Following Friday's ceasefire announcement, the government said further talks with Boko Haram were due to be held this week in neighbouring Chad. 

On Oct. 17, Nigeria’s chief of defense, Air Marshall Alex Badeh was quoted widely as having engineered a ceasefire in “all theaters” of operation against Boko Haram, though the news was taken with some skepticism. Nigeria has seen a number of botched truces with the insurgents.


In a separate incident, at least five people were killed in a bomb blast at a bus station in a town in Bauchi.state. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The latest abductions of at least 40 females took place on Saturday in a remote mountain village in Adamawa, near the border with Cameroon according to  an account by  Bishop Mamza, who operates out of the state capital in Yola: 
...Residents told the bishop that scores of gunmen on motorcycles stormed their village, Garta, on Saturday…. The gunmen burned houses in the village, slit the throats of four men and went house to house searching for young women, eventually taking away around 60, according to the bishop and local news reports.
"Those who were abducted are from my hometown," Bishop Mamza said by phone on Thursday. "Of course it is credible. This is actually what is happening on a daily basis, only it is not reported."
A number of Nigerians and experts on African affairs  abroad feel the Jonathan administration acted too quickly in announcing good news coming out of the Boko Haram talks in Chad, hoping to create positive voter feeling ahead of elections early next year: 
"I sense Nigeria rushed to announce the deal with electoral-political calculations in mind," said Mark Schroeder, vice president of Africa Analysis at the Stratfor consultancy. "Getting a victory with the schoolgirls and a short-term truce with Boko Haram could be positive for President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign."

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