Between August 17th and 19th two attacks were carried out by Boko Haram, an ISIS-linked militant group, in Northeastern Nigeria.
On August 17th, around a dozen Boko Haram militants riding on motorcycles stormed crop fields near Ali Goshe Village, 6km outside of the city of Maiduguri. They slit the throats of four farmers. “So far we have confirmed the death of four people in the attack which happened around midday,” said Ibrahim Liman, who is part of the militia taskforce fighting Boko Haram in the region. He further commented that “when the Boko Haram terrorists came the farmers fled but the gunmen managed to grab four and slaughter them.”
One of the farmers that escaped, Shuaibu Boka, cited by News24, said that the militants did not shoot in order to avoid attracting the Nigerian security forces. “When we returned much later after the gunmen were gone, we found four of our men slaughtered,” he said. He also said that the 75-year-old head of the community had been one of the victims.
On August 18th, also in the same region, at least six people were killed after Boko Haram members raided a village, they burned houses and looted food supplies, according to a local militia leader and residents cited by News24.
The militants arrived in trucks at Mairari village, 10km from the garrison town of Monguno in Borno state, on the evening of August 18th, firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades. “In the confusion, the Boko Haram gunmen seized six men and slaughtered them,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP from the state capital of Maiduguri, as cited by News24.
Kolo commented that the bodies of six victims were found on the morning of August 19th when villagers returned. A village resident, Aisami Grema, gave the same death toll, adding that police stationed in the village did not fight the militants. “The police made no attempt to engage the Boko Haram fighters,” Grema said, cited by News24.
BBC reported that there were differences in the reports of the death toll. The militia leader claimed that there had been six victims, whereas a survivor, cited by BBC claimed there were 19 killed. Witnesses also added that the village was looted for two hours before the militants left.
BBC cited another villager, Abatcha Umar, said he was not sure if the militants were members of Boko Haram or of the splinter group Islamic State in West Africa Province (Iswap).
Even earlier, on July 26th another Boko Haram attack left 13 killed, after the militants attacked a military formation also in Borno state. A vigilante source, cited by Sahara Reports, said seven Boko Haram fighters were killed and several of them were injured in the gun battle, while nine civilians were wounded as well.
The attacks of the militants come as a series of assaults against Nigerian troops, putting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to tackle insecurity in the most populous African country. The attacks also come ahead of the general elections which are to happen in February 2019.
Boko Haram is leading a nine-year fight to establish “Islamic State” in Nigeria and has killed over 20,000 people and displaced approximately 2.6 million from their homes, triggering a humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region. Most of the displaced people were sustenance farmers, however due to the ongoing conflict they can no longer tend their fields.
Boko Haram militants are targeting loggers and farmers, accusing them that they are spying and giving information to the military and the local militia, who are fighting against them.
In June 2018, The President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operations of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, urged the military to deploy risk mapping in mitigating losses arising from inadequate or failed procedures, systems or policies in the ongoing fight against terrorism in Northeastern Nigeria. Nigeria has an anti-terrorism law, which has been enforced since 2012, however it has proven ineffective.