Thursday, 15 January 2015

An Unequal World?

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There were at least two dreadful terrorist incidents that took place place week which led to countless deaths, but one has barely had any mention in the news.

17 people were killed in Paris by Islamist extremists following an attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.  The horror and violence of these attacks quite rightly shocked the world.  Following the attack millions of people joined marches across Europe to remember the victims of the massacre.

The other terrorist incident took place in Nigeria, when Boko Haram attacked the towns of Baga and Doron Baga.  It is estimated that they killed up to 2,500 people, men, women and children.  One eye witness even claims that they shot and killed a woman who was in labour.  Amnesty International says that the attack has nearly wiped the towns off the map, with over 3,700 structures destroyed.  One survivor told Amnesty International that "They killed so many people.  I saw maybe around 100 killed at that time in Baga.  I ran to the bush.  As we were running, they were shooting and killing."  

Why is it that the events in Paris received so much attention, whereas the even more appalling killing in Nigeria barely gets a mention?  Is it because it is not in Europe, and therefore not on our door step, and therefore somehow less news worthy?  Is it that we accept that things like this can happen in places like Nigeria, but not in Europe?  Do we view life as being cheaper in Africa, and therefore somehow less important?  Or could it be simply that it is much harder to report from Nigeria and these areas where Boko Haram appear to be able to go about killing people at will?  

What makes the attack in Paris more newsworthy than the Boko Haram massacres which have claimed far more lives?  Shouldn't we be going on the streets to protest against the actions of these groups, and standing in solidarity with the victims of violence in Nigeria and other parts of the world?

We saw the hash tag #JeSuisCharlie trending on social media, isn't it time we say #IamNigeria trending?  


  Before and after satellite images of Doron Baga