THREE FOREIGN DOCTORS KILLED IN NORTHEAST NIGERIA

Boko Haram militants pose in front of satellite imagery of Bauchi, NE Nigeria

Boko Haram militants pose in front of satellite imagery of Bauchi, NE Nigeria

Sun Feb 10, 2013(AP)

Three foreign doctors have been killed
in Nigeria, one of them beheaded,officials have said. Their nationality remains unclear, with differing reports claiming they were either South Korean or Chinese. The deaths on Saturday night of the physicians in Potiskum, a town in Yobe state, comes less than a week after
gunmen killed at least nine women
administering polio vaccines in Kano,
the major city of Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north.

The two attacks raise questions over
whether the radical Islamic sect known
as Boko Haram, targeted by Nigeria’s
police and military, has picked newer,
softer targets in its guerrilla campaign
of shootings and bombings across the country. The attackers reportedly targeted the doctors inside their home, an official at General Hospital in Potiskum, a government-run health facility. The doctors had no security guards at their residence and typically travelled around the city via three-wheel taxis without a police escort, said the official who insisted on anonymity.

By the time soldiers arrived at the house, they found the doctors’ wives
cowering in a flower bed outside their
home, the official said. At the property,
they found the corpses of the three men, all bearing what appeared to be machete wounds. Two of the men had their throats slit, while the third was decapitated. The state’s police commissioner, Sunusi Rufai, confirmed the attack took place but added that no one had claimed responsibility.

Boko Haram, whose name means
“western education is sacrilege”, has
been attacking government buildings
and security forces over the last year-
and-a-half. In 2012, the group was
blamed for killing at least 792 people, according to a count by AP, although
more police officers and soldiers were
sent to the north by the Nigerian
government.

The sect, which typically speaks to
journalists in telephone conference calls at times of its choosing, could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday.

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About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in ARMED CONFLICT, BOKO HARAM ISLAMIC STATE MOVEMENT, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS, JOINT SECURITY TASK FORCE, NIGERIA, NIGERIA POLICE FORCE, NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES, NIGERIAN MILITARY HISTORY, NIGERIAN PARAMILITARY FORCES, RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM, RISK ANALYSIS, SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS, TERRORISM, WEST AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to THREE FOREIGN DOCTORS KILLED IN NORTHEAST NIGERIA

  1. peccavi says:

    The attacks in Northern Nigeria on medical workers mark a new phase in BH operations and needs to be looked at in the context of the Nigerian Security Forces (NSF) COIN ops, the BH offer of talks (and request for N26bn ‘amnesty’), BH offer of ceasefire and operations in Mali. The NSF has by and large (despite a woeful start in 2009 and repeated and serious allegations of human rights violations) performed remarkably in the BH effort. From a tactical point of view BH operations are defeated and thwarted much more often than they succeed. Operationally BH is currently ineffective at best exhausted and regrouping at worst defeated, the lack of spectaculars, reduced use of IED’s, reliance on small arms attacks against soft targets all indicates a disruption of supply, command, control and capability. The war in Mali does not directly affect insurgent actions in Nigeria but it does affect BH supply lines, the supply of experts, weapons, components and the revenue from taxing narcotics and other smuggled goods in the Sahel has been disrupted due to the presence of substantial French and other forces, and even more significant reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance assets concentrated on those most lucrative regions of the Sahel. The quid pro quo of the MUJAO/ Boko Haram nexus is also in force, Boko Haram has benefited from MUJAO sanctuary, training, equipment and experience for their operations in Nigeria, now that MUJAO has begun the counter strike against French/ Malian forces Boko Haram will be expected to play a part, whether in terms of arms, foot soldiers or financial support.
    It is interesting that the initial counter strikes have taken place in GAO, the former fiefdom of MUJAO. It is also instructive that the methods used could be taken straight from the Boko Haram playbook, motorcycle borne suicide IED. Note also the use of indirect fire and small arms attacks on GAO (all methods and tactics that I believed would be used in Nigeria as part of the Mali blowback).
    The offer of a ceasefire in North East Nigeria reinforces also indicates a fragmenting of will amongst the various BH factions. As has been postulated before, there is legacy BH (the pre 2009 lot), ideological BH, political BH, criminal BH and follow follow BH. I would suggest that the slightly less ideological have had enough. The ones who were purely mercenary will either return to their villages or houses or criminality and no longer take part, the political ones will be lying low awaiting orders. The slightly more opportunistic ones will be asking for money (good luck collecting it). however interest resides in the ideological BH.
    These are the true believers motivated by their vision of Islam and jihad. The key word here is their. Fundamentalists are fundamentalists for a reason. Their vision is the ONLY vision and anyone who dissents from it is an apostate. Now depending on their fortunes a fundamentalist will cooperate with others, so in Syria and Libya etc you will see fundamentalists cooperating with secularists, monarchists, socialists, liberals etc when help is needed. However when the war is over the fundamentalists generally rise to ascendancy through ruthlessness, better organisation and single mindedness but the most fascinating scenarios is what happens when fundamentalists are under pressure. In Iraq, after Al Qaeda had successfully triggered the Sunni-Shia civil war, they became so blood thirsty not just towards the Shia but towards moderate Sunni and even fellow Sunni insurgents that when Gen Petraeus came with his new strategy, these insurgents who were fighting against the American occupation, the Shias and their fear of Iranian domination to allies against al Qaeda. Algeria is the most pertinent and interesting example once the war started there were several groups the most significant being the GIA and MIA, as the war dragged on, civilians were targeted more and more brutally, once negotiations with the government started the GIA turned on the MIA who formed an alliance with other militants and accepted a ceasefire, meanwhile the GIA not only attacked the government, civilians, fellow militants but began fighting amongst themselves. Eventually after essentially wiping themselves out they reformed as the GSPC and then as AQIM.
    The relevance of these examples is in what we are seeing now in Northern Nigeria with attacks upon polio workers and now medical doctors. The extremists are becoming more extreme. Attacks are against targets that are relatively harmless but offend their defined notions of purity, so although polio vaccines are considered a western plot in popular northern conspiracy theory, they are now being supported even by notorious radical mouthpieces but still in the minds of BH are a legitimate target. The attack on the South Korean doctors is even more ludicrous as these men were genuinely harmless but comes on the back of a series of assassinations of Nigerian medical personnel in the North East. So what is the logic in claiming to be fighting for the people and attacking one of the few services accruing to the people? I cannot hope to reproduce the justifications but the underpinning principle is that their activities are haram and considered worthy of execution. The point is that it doesn’t matter what they choose they will follow that through and anyone that opposes them is by definition and apostate and worthy of execution.
    So what does this mean?
    It means there is an opportunity for exploitation. A strong info and psy ops campaign to highlight the attacks upon medical professionals and other non combatants and civilians will obviously be effective on civilians and non combatants but more importantly on follow follow BH, political BH, criminal BH and pre 2009 BH. Now all of these players need a certain element of popular support to achieve their aims, political BH cannot very well kill the people helping potential voters and constituents, criminal BH live amongst the community and need them to hide and feed off , follow follow BH will return to being thugs and layabouts after the crisis and will be easily picked off if they do not come out with the winning side or leave lingering grudges, pre 2009 BH (or whatever’s left of it) has a following, political backers and a certain popular underpinning. Whatever they hope to salvage will be lost if they completely lose popular support. So it will be in the interest of these groups to limit the excesses of ideological BH. Either through private words, public censure or violence. It will be in the existential interests of ideological BH to resist any opposition especially from those who know their methods and ways intimately. In other words the NSF needs to follow the example of Gen Petraeus and the Algerians and start offering the different factions of BH a way out, they will do alot of the dirty work for us, start crafting a clear path for surrender and even reintegration at the same time keeping up the pressure that has successfully disrupted the IED cells, the supply lines and defeated the few remaining set piece attacks on police or army positions.
    The strategic imperative that is necessary to go after the financiers and sponsors still seems to be lacking but that doesn’t prevent the security forces at the operational level from creating the conditions whereby these actors are so discredited and weakened amongst elite circles by the defeat of their proxies that they became easy targets for prosecution in other matters. There is absolutely zero advantage to the enemy by these attacks on medics and nothing but wins for the security forces should they choose to exploit it, I suggest they do.

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