Odds are, Americans are familiar with at least one prior Boko Haram attack: the abduction of 200 Nigerian girls from a school in spring of 2014. Sadly, there still hasn’t been a resolution to this incident. Authorities still aren’t sure what happened to the kidnapped girls, though a member of Boko Haram indicated the girls were converted to Islam and married off to soldiers.
#Bringbackourgirls was a popular hashtag throughout the world several months ago, but it takes a tragedy like this one to remind everyone that the situation in Nigeria has only escalated. Baga is just one victim of this terror; hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have fled their country to escape from Boko Haram insurgents.
Analysts believe that Boko Haram specifically targeted Baga since it was one town in the region that refused to concede and become part of Boko Haram’s Islamic state. Though soldiers were stationed to protect the town, they apparently abandoned their own posts quickly once it was clear they were outmanned. Moving forward, communities in Nigeria that have not yet been taken over by Boko Haram will need better lines of defense in the face of this strong terrorist organization. It’s a tricky situation – Western aid could help protect Nigerians better, but a Western presence is likely to make the area even more volatile.
It can be understandably frustrating to read news this devastating and have no immediate, practical way to offer your assistance to the people affected. That’s why Care2 has created a petition, “Tell Shell: Use your influence to help stop the bloodshed in Nigeria!”, in the hope that those of us thousands of miles away can do even a little something to improve the situation in the future. Shell has major financial interests in the oil-rich land of Nigeria, yet has remained silent on the terrorism that occurs near its operations.
Sign the petition to encourage the corporation to use its resources and clout to help the Nigerian people.