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Is The World Ignoring Nigeria?

This photo combo of images provided by Amnesty International, on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, shows infrared satellite images of the village of Doron Baga in northeastern Nigeria. The top image shows the village on Jan. 2, before it was allegedly attacked by members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The bottom image, taken on Jan. 7, 2015, shows Doron Baga after the alleged attack. Amnesty International said that in the infrared images, where bright red indicates healthy trees and vegetation, more than 3,700 structures were damaged or destroyed. Boko Haram fighters seized a military base in Baga on Jan. 3 and, according to witnesses, and killed hundreds of civilians in the ensuing days. (DigitalGlobe via Amnesty International, Micah Farfour)
This photo combo of images provided by Amnesty International, on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, shows infrared satellite images of the village of Doron Baga in northeastern Nigeria. The top image shows the village on Jan. 2, before it was allegedly attacked by members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The bottom image, taken on Jan. 7, 2015, shows Doron Baga after the alleged attack. Amnesty International said that in the infrared images, where bright red indicates healthy trees and vegetation, more than 3,700 structures were damaged or destroyed. Boko Haram fighters seized a military base in Baga on Jan. 3 and, according to witnesses, and killed hundreds of civilians in the ensuing days. (DigitalGlobe via Amnesty International, Micah Farfour)

Many people have been asking: Why has there been so much coverage of Paris, and so little coverage of Nigeria, where maybe many hundreds died in attacks over the last couple of weeks?

There has been some coverage of new satellite images showing the aftermath of the assault on the town of Baga by Islamic militants from Boko Haram, as well as some coverage of suicide attacks carried out by young girls in the same region.

Nii Akuetteh, a policy analyst with the African Immigrant Caucus, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss why he thinks there was so little coverage of the violence in Nigeria, and what can be done about terrorism in Nigeria.

Interview Highlights

On media presence in Africa

“I’ve always wanted more U.S. media and world media presence in Africa and they don’t [come]. If anything they’ve been curtailed since I’ve lived in this country for decades.”

“I’m not happy with U.S. policy either, and I think it’s linked to the coverage because if the U.S. has a presence in any part of the world, naturally the U.S. media will follow.”

On Boko Haram

“I think that the Boko Haram problem is a serious one. Nigeria is such an important country not just in West Africa, which it dominates, but [in] the entire continent. For one thing, it has more people than any other African country. It has approaching 200 million people. Secondly, it is the largest economy in Africa. Somebody else mentioned that the number of middle class Nigerians, there are as many of them as the entire population of Germany.”

On how the U.S. could help Nigerians

“Areas that the U.S. would be crucial is intelligence. Boko Haram, right now people see that they are winning all these battles because they are better armed and well funded. And the U.S. has amazing intelligence services that they can help find out who is financing, because we do not know.”

Guest

  • Nii Akuetteh, policy analyst with the African Immigrant Caucus and former executive director of Africa Action.

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