NIGERIA: Occupy Wallstreet anyone?


A little bit about Boko Haram


  • Formed by Muslim cleric Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, in Maiduguri. Initially peaceful,
  • In June 2009 the radical sect waged a short-lived armed uprising in a bid to establish an Islamic state in the north. This was brutally crushed by the military in July 2009, leaving over 800 dead.
  • During the crackdown, leader Yusuf and several other members including Yusuf’s father-in-law, Alhaji Baba Fugu, were killed in police custody.
  • Since January 2010, surviving sect members have reportedly been behind bomb and shoot-and-run attacks which have killed dozens of people not just in Maiduguri  and Abuja
  • Since 2009 the leadership has gone underground
  • A spokesperson for Boko Haram told reporters in June that members had received training in Somalia.
  • Other reports have suggested that Boko Haram already has links to international terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, and has the potential to link with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) which operates in nearby regions

Root causes of violence

  • Poverty and unemployment, driven by poor governance and corruption
  • Former leader Yusuf gained support “by speaking out against police and political corruption” on behalf of the country’s “vast numbers of unemployed youth [who] he was able to tap into for recruits”.
  • “Boko Haram is essentially the fallout of frustration with corruption and the attendant social malaise of poverty and unemployment… The young generation see how [the nation’s resources] are squandered by a small bunch of self-serving elite which breeds animosity and frustration, and such anger is ultimately translated into violent outbursts”  –  Abdulkarim Mohammed, a researcher on Boko Haram.

Any of this sound familiar?  *cough OWS cough*


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