World View: Resurgence of Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Turkey-Israel relations may be close to normalization
  • Resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria

Turkey-Israel relations may be close to normalization

Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that Israel and Turkey are the closest they've been to a normalization of relations in years. According to Davutoglu, there have been "positive developments":

There has recently been a momentum and new approach in compensation talks. We could say that most of the differences have been removed recently in these discussions.

Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after the deaths of nine Turkish citizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation between Israel's navy and the boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gaza in violation of Israel's Gaza blockade. Since then, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has specified three conditions that Israel would have to fulfill in order to restore normal relations. 

First, Israel would have to apologize, and Israel did so last March, under intense pressure from president Barack Obama.

Second, Israel would have to pay monetary compensation to the families of the victims. According to Davutoglu, negotiations have significantly reduced the difference in the amount between what Turkey demanded and Israel has offered. On Monday, it was reported that the Israeli government had decided that it would pay $20 million to the victims' families. In return, Turkey will agree to drop charges in its own courts against the IDF soldiers who participated in the raid on the Mavi Marmara.

Erdogan's third condition was the lifting of the blockade of Gaza. According to Davutoglu, Israel has "eased" the embargo on Gaza. On Tuesday, Erdogan renewed his condition, demanding that Israel provide a "written protocol" that they would end the Israeli "siege" on Gaza.

However, Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday confirmed that he has rejected Erdogan's demand to provide a written statement. It remains to be seen whether further negotiations will yield a compromise. Hurriyet (Turkey) and Israel National News

Resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria

Gunmen from the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Boko Haram ("Western education is forbidden") killed 51 people on Tuesday in an attack on a majority Muslim town in northeast Nigeria. Dozens of Boko Haram fighters speeding along in trucks painted in military colors and armed with automatic weapons and explosives attacked the town, burning houses and shooting fleeing villagers. They also took 20 young girls from a local college as hostages.

This comes after two incidents last week. On Friday, terrorist gunmen in cars and on motorbikes burst into a Christian family's home and killed a family of seven. On the previous Sunday, 52 people were killed when gunmen stormed a church.

Prior to 2009, Boko Haram was a little-known Muslim sect of ethnic Hausa people. Starting in 2010, Boko Haram began a series of terrorist attacks across the country, often bombing Christian churches, saying their objective was to eliminate all Christians. In the last year, Boko Haram has announced its intention to establish an Islamist state in Nigeria's northeast.

The rise of Boko Haram from a terrorist group to a well-armed militia is another unintended consequence of the West's military intervention in Libya in 2011. The Libyan action provided a training ground for Islamist jihadists, including Boko Haram, and also provided vast stores of heavy weapons stolen from Muammar Gaddafi's unguarded storehouses.

There has been a resurgence of Boko Haram violence since the beginning of the year. Nigeria's Christian president Goodluck Jonathan has repeatedly promised that an army campaign would clean out the Boko Haram terrorists once and for all. However, those attempts have been stymied, reportedly because some politicians and army members support Boko Haram. Reuters and AFP

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