The way Nigerian Islamists are using kidnapped women and children in attacks, exploiting them as virtual human bombs in the middle of civil and military groups, is becoming one of the cruelest forms of war history has ever seen.
Antonio Paneque Brizuela
Such methods, which are comparable to those employed during the wars of the Great Mongol Genghis Khan (1162-1227), who forced enemy prisoners to march at the front of the troop to fight their own people, now eclipse any peace in the West African country.
What were initially isolated reports of individuals, mostly men, sacrificed in acts of terrorism or war against military or civil targets, has increasingly frequently become a stunt involving women, including children.
In Nigeria today, so-called ‘female suicide bombers’ of all ages, who blow themselves up in the middle of crowded markets after having detonated the belts of explosives they secure to their bodies, are increasingly common.
The crime is twofold if you take into account the fact that the majority of them are kidnapped and subjected to who knows what kind of preparatory ‘techniques’ before carrying out the military action as part of the country’s homicidal reality.
Many people are therefore now speculating how lucky the 1,880 women and children were in recent days, who were rescued by the army after being captured by the Boko Haram sect in the northern forest of Sambisa, many of whom were potentially saved from true deflagration in the middle of a crowd.
The variety of ways such events can occur and the way that they are recounted using relevant journalistic styles and patterns has, this year, already become cruelly comprehensive, with the same newsworthy story regurgitated by dozens of news agencies and other media outlets, more or less in the following way:
‘Abuja, 13 Jan: A triple suicide attack carried out by three women, one of whom had a baby tied to her back, led to nine deaths and 14 injuries today in the north east of Nigeria, reported the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)’.
According to the source, the blast from the devices being carried by the woman with her child on her back – the only fatality among the attackers – was one of the worst chapters of the months-long criminal escalation of women with explosives attached to their bodies and then detonated remotely.
The girls of Chibok, lessons on killing
This method of war – sacrificing innocent people, who blindly kill without identifying their targets or knowing if someone is an enemy – has gained particular momentum over the past two years, after 276 female students were kidnapped in April 2014 from their secondary school in the north eastern region of Chibok.
An unknown number of girls from that group were the object of this type of attack after their capture, which Boko Haram claimed responsibility for, and which stirred great interest both in and out of the country, and still holds the attention of the UN, the African Union and other international bodies.
To date, the army and the government, through negotiations with the captors, have rescued dozens of those girls from the main Islamic camp in the north eastern forest of Sambisa, an area of 60,000 square kilometers, where it is assumed they were hidden after the kidnapping. However, there are still 200 captives held by the extremists.
Solders continue their search and recently found another one of the girls, Rakiya Abubkar, with her six-month old baby; it is estimated that many of the girls were also raped and forced to marry some of their captors.
The rare kidnaping of a large group of girls, many of whom are now wives after three years of capture, touched Nigerian society to such an extent that the social network protest campaign ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ was launched.
How are the female suicide bombers enticed?
Charities, news outlets and studies are still unsure of the ‘arguments’ used by the fundamentalist sect to persuade victims to wear lethal belts, go to crowded, often soldier-ridden, public areas and then succumb to an explosion, acting as virtual human firecrackers.
Some investigators agree that members of the Islamist group, which has claimed 20,000 lives and has caused 2.6 million people to flee in just seven years, use death threats against family members of the suicide bombers and religious arguments, such as surrendering to Allah by way of this final act of sacrifice.
Others believe that the captors also rely on the ignorance of their victims, amongst other things, because victims are unaware that their captors are preparing them for remote detonation by remote control, who knows from where. (PL)
Photos: Pixabay – (Translated by Abaigh Wheatley – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)