THE RC Archbishop of Jos, in Nigeria, where Islamic militants
have killed many hundreds - possibly thousands - of people in the
past week, has called for the same "spirit" to be shown in his
country as was displayed by the international community after the
The Archbishop, the Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, said that the
international community needed to respond to the attacks by Boko
Haram in the same manner as it had to the French attacks.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: "We need that spirit to be spread
around. Not just when it [an attack] happens in Europe, but when it
happens in Nigeria, in Niger, in Cameroon."
He said that "international resources" must be mobilised to
"face or confront the people who bring such sadness to many
families". He said that the latest attacks had shown that the
Nigerian armed forces could not cope.
The RC Bishop of Sokoto, the Rt Revd Matthew Hassan Kukah, told
the Financial Times this week: "We would have loved to see
a situation when the Prime Minister of Britain had a sense of
responsibility to mobilise the international community on our side.
You get a feeling almost of betrayal."
He said that the French were more willing to leap to the aid of
their former colonies than the British.
The World Council of Churches also issued a statement comparing
the international response to the French atrocity and the conflict
in Nigeria: "As much as the WCC joins in the international
solidarity with the people of France in the aftermath of the recent
attacks in and near Paris, we are deeply saddened that the tragic
events in Nigeria have not attracted equivalent international
concern and solidarity," the statement said.
"A mindset which deploys young children as bombs, and which
indiscriminately slaughters women, children, and elderly people, is
beyond outrage, and disqualifies itself from any possible claim to
An attack by the militants on the border town of Baga, earlier
this month, killed up to 2000, reports from witnesses say, although
the military in Nigeria has insisted that the number who died was
about 150. Amnesty International has described the attack as the
"deadliest massacre" in the conflict to date.
Suicide bombers also struck in the region last weekend, killing
dozens more civilians. One of the suicide attacks is said to have
been by a ten-year-old girl, who killed at least 19 people when she
blew herself up at a market.
The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has condemned the use of
the girl as a "depraved act" by the militants, and promised "all
available means and resources" to help end the bloodshed.
The executive director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, said: "These
images from northern Nigeria should be searing the conscience of
the world. Words alone can neither express our outrage, nor ease
the agony of all those suffering from the constant violence in
northern Nigeria." He said that the attacks "should galvanise
effective action. For this cannot go on."
The UN refugee agency has reported that the number of Nigerian
refugees seeking safety in Chad has almost quadrupled over the past
ten days, after attacks by Boko Haram uprooted about 7300
Nigerians, and forced them into western Chad.
A spokesperson for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of
Humanitarian Affairs said that the attack on the town of Baga alone
caused 3400 people to flee to Chad.
"The Government of Chad has requested international assistance,"
the spokesperson said. "The Chadian government has sent a mission
and a medical team to the areas, and is providing food assistance
and other basic supplies."