Nigerian Archbishop Denounces Boko Haram's Use of Children as Human Bombs

Appeals for National Unity Against Terror Following Massacre in Baga, 2,000 Feared Dead

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Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos has called on the international community to act swiftly against the radical Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The prelate’s call for action comes on the heels of another attack by the terrorist group in Baga, killing an estimated 2,000 people.

A statement released by Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International, said the attack on Baga could be one of the deadliest attacks by Boko Haram.

“If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as two thousand civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” he said.

Getting news of attacks by the radical Islamist group has been difficult as journalists have been targeted by the group. However, as most of the world has focused on the recent attacks in Paris, many are left wondering why there is so little coverage of the massacre in Nigeria.

National Unity Against Terrorism

Archbishop Kaigama has denounced increasing attacks by the group, particularly their use of children as human bombs. Three girls in northern Nigeria blew themselves up in a crowd, killing 27 people.

In an interview with Fides News Agency, Archbishop Kaigama said he believes the girls were brainwashed by Boko Haram into carrying out the deadly bombings.

«These girls were indoctrinated, brainwashed into believing that they will go to heaven by doing these actions,” he said. “Besides, we have in mind the sad phenomenon of child soldiers in various parts of Africa who are indoctrinated with horrific methods of brainwashing so that they become killing machines.”

The Nigerian prelate expressed his hope that a demonstration, similar to the one that took place in France, would happen in Nigeria to reject violence and terrorism. «I am thinking about the big demonstration which took place in Paris against the killings in France,” he said. “I hope even here a great demonstration of national unity will take place, to say no to violence and find a solution to the problems plaguing Nigeria.”

Archbishop Kaigama said that in the meantime, the Church in Nigeria is continuing to mobilize to help those fleeing the violence, both Christian and Muslim.

“They all fled because of the violence of Boko Haram also because in many families there are Christians and Muslims who live together peacefully,” he said. “Those who do not share the ideology of Boko Haram, and many are Muslims, are forced to flee.”

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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