Harf: 'Primarily the Government of Nigeria's Responsibility to Protect Citizens' from Boko Haram

Doro Baga Satellite view on 2 Jan 2015 and 7 Jan 2015

Satellite photos released by Amnesty International provide “indisputable and shocking evidence” of the Boko Haram attack that targeted Baga, Nigeria, beginning Jan. 3.


Some 2,000 people were reported killed in the terrorist attack, but it’s been difficult to get verification of the scope of devastation in the territory. Boko Haram now controls area near Lake Chad roughly the size of Belgium, and declared its territory part of the caliphate.

“These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International. “Of all Boko Haram assaults analysed by Amnesty International, this is the largest and most destructive yet. It represents a deliberate attack on civilians whose homes, clinics and schools are now burnt out ruins.”

A study of the satellite images showed 620 stuctures in Baga and 3,100 in neighboring Doron Baga damaged or destroyed by fire. Fishing boats that had been along the shore in Jan. 2 satellite photos are missing, supporting survivors’ accounts that many tried to flee across Lake Chad.

“They killed so many people. I saw maybe around 100 killed at that time in Baga,” one survivor told Amnesty. “I ran to the bush. As we were running, they were shooting and killing.”


Another described how Boko Haram terrorists shot a mother while she was giving birth.

“Boko Haram took around 300 women and kept us in a school in Baga,” said one woman who was held by the terrorists. “They released the older women, mothers and most of the children after four days but are still keeping the younger women.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked at today’s briefing why the U.S. stepped in to save the Yazidis in Iraq from terrorists but has just worked in an advisory role to Nigerian officials as Boko Haram has spiraled out of control.

“These are the kinds of moral dilemmas that American presidents for generations have faced,” Earnest replied. “…One of the things that we have believed is most important is dedicating an effort to work closer with forces that are on the ground, local forces, to try to confront these challenges, and that is the strategy that we have employed in Iraq to try to support Iraq’s security forces on the ground to take the fight to these extremists is the same strategy that we’ve used in Nigeria on a different scale, because each situation is different, where you to have an American military presence that’s using our extensive capabilities to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to — to take the fight to these extremists.”


State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said today it’s “primarily the government of Nigeria’s responsibility to take the steps it needs to protect its citizens.”

“We know this is a very significant threat and a very challenging one for the Nigerians. That’s why we’ve offered to work with them,” Harf said. “We have done some joint training. We have a security cooperation relationship.”

Baga, North Eastern Nigeria Satellite view on 2 Jan 2015 and 7 Jan 2015


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member