August 16, 2012 |
DIFFA, Niger This West African desert town hardly seems like the front line of an emerging struggle against terrorism. The market is bustling. Young men listen to French rap music blaring from boomboxes. Boys play soccer on unpaved roads. Yet the nearby border checkpoint with Nigeria, where hundreds of people once crossed back and forth daily, is now closed. Soldiers patrol the streets day and night. And a U.S. Special Forces captain and his comrades, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, are here, training Niger's ragged army.
December 30, 2012 |
The armed men dragged Musa Muhammad out of his house and ordered him to lie face down on the ground. Then they grabbed his son. After asking his name, the men issued their judgment. "I heard three gunshots — pop, pop, pop," Muhammad recalled, his voice trembling, his fingers in the shape of a pistol. "My son was dead, killed in front of me. " His assailants were not the radical Islamists who have brutalized this town. They were government security forces sent to protect the residents.
May 25, 2013 |
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Visiting sub-Saharan Africa for the first time since taking office, Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Saturday remained focused largely on the Middle East, particularly Egypt, whose cratering economy and political problems are dimming hopes it can play a major role in fostering any new peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry sandwiched a day of celebratory meetings at the African Union's 50th anniversary summit in Ethiopia between peacemaking efforts in Israel,...
May 7, 2013 |
FOR WEEKS after a clash between the Nigerian army and Islamic militants last month in the remote fishing village of Baga, it was difficult for outsiders to determine what had happened. Residents who fled to the state capital told the New York Times and human rights organizations that at least 180 people had been killed when the army went on a rampage, burning much of the village of thatch-roofed homes and shooting residents as they tried to flee. Nigerian officials claimed that only a...
August 9, 2012 |
ABUJA, Nigeria — The Obama administration is renewing an offer to help Nigeria marshal military and intelligence resources against a growing extremist threat that U.S. officials fear could spread to neighboring nations, a U.S. official said Thursday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's brief visit to Nigeria was focused largely on security concerns. U.S. officials have been frustrated by what many see as a slow and parochial response to the spread of a violent Islamist movement in the country's...
May 12, 2013
The May 8 editorial " Tactics under fire ," about the recent confrontation between Boko Haram militants and Nigerian government forces in the town of Baga, calls for a thorough investigation and accountability. Our government is taking resolute actions to ensure that both are accomplished swiftly and effectively. Upon learning of the incident — in which Nigerian security forces and troops from Cameroon, Chad and Niger were called on to repel a Boko Haram assault in this border region — President Goodluck Jonathan...