What’s going on in Nigeria?
The text that follows has been sent through the mailing list of the Megachad association. The author is Gerhard Muller-Kosack, a well-known etnographer working in the Mandara mountains area. The letter describes what’s happening in the Gwoza area, in Borno State (Nigeria).
The scenario described by Muller-Kosack is that of a civil war.
The original text runs as follows:
Here is some update on what is happening in the Gwoza hills area of NE Nigeria.
After 8pm, last Thursday last night [September 26th], BH fighters marched into the village of Barawa, on the border to Cameroon to the east of the Gwoza hills, and shot a man. They also burnt 21 houses and the local church that night. Friends of mine who live there decided to flee from Borno to Adamawa state which is why I managed to establish phone contact since it is still impossible to ring into Borno. When shooting started, men, women and children fled into the bush. It appears that the BH fighters are mainly young man, some of them recognisable from local ethnic groups.
I managed to speak to other contacts since and could establish that similar attacks have happened and are still happening in other villages along the foothills of the Gwoza part of the Mandara Mountains, for example in Gwoza town itself, in Uvaha, in Kwatama (part of Hambagda), Guduf Kasa (Guduf B) and other places. It appears that the Nigerian army has not the means to effectively protect the local communities exposed to such attacks. It is also worrying that young men from the local communities in question are actually joining BH. Judging from the backgrounds of those young man in question, as far as my local knowledge goes, they are often from local groups with notoriously limited access to primary or secondary education in the past.
Now, all schools are closed and nobody knows when they are going to be reopened. I know that what happened in Yobe state made the international news, but that only seems to be the tip of the iceberg.
I know this is very sensitive area, but I would be grateful if other colleagues could share information and local knowledge of similar phenomena happing in their region, especially if no longer reported in the national or international media.