ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Dead We Did Not Mourn

Why does the world ignore the killings in Nigeria by Boko Haram?

Some deaths are mourned by thousands, even millions; others go unmourned, unnoticed. This is the tragedy of our modern times. So even as more than a million people turned out on the streets of Paris in January to mourn the deaths of the 17 people killed during and after the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the death of around 2,000 people at the hands of the Boko Haram in northern Nigeria went virtually unnoticed by the rest of the world.

Why, we need to ask, do we not get as stirred up with the relentless killings witnessed by people living in the three north-eastern provinces of Nigeria – Borno, Yobe andAdamawa – as we do by other deaths, such as the ones in Paris? Is it because Africa remains, in the consciousness of many, still the “dark” continent, and largely under-reported in the world media? Or is it, as a cynical commentator pointed out, that in Nigeria it is Muslims who are killing their fellowMuslims and therefore there is nothing to trigger outrage in the non-Muslim world? Whatever the reasons, it is time we woke up and took note of what is happening in Nigeria and attempt to understand the genesis of the crisis a part of the country faces.

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