World View: Nigeria Mobilizing Thousands of Vigilantes to Fight Boko Haram

World View: Nigeria Mobilizing Thousands of Vigilantes to Fight Boko Haram

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Nigeria mobilizing thousands of vigilantes to fight Boko Haram
  • Iran strongly denies it’s targeting ISIS with airstrikes, despite video

Nigeria mobilizing thousands of vigilantes to fight Boko Haram

Vigilante fighter in Nigeria (AP)
Vigilante fighter in Nigeria (AP)

The Nigerian terror group Boko Haram continues to abduct schoolgirlsand to take control of entire villages in the northeastern state ofAdamawa, especially near the border with Cameroon. Nigeria’s armycontinues to appear to be helpless against Boko Haram, and somereports indicate that soldiers have been shedding the uniforms andfleeing when Boko Haram approaches.

Authorities in Adamawa now say they’re implementing their ownplan. They plan to mobilize some 4,000 vigilantes from thelocal villages. Bala James Nggilari, the governor ofAdamawa, said:

The vigilantes and hunters are local people, localboys who know the terrain. When you bring a soldier from Bayelsa[in southern Nigeria], for example, who is coming here for thefirst time he doesn’t know the terrain.

The people we are fighting are also part of the localcommunity. There is nothing on their forehead that says’insurgent’ but these local hunters are familiar with them, theyknow them, they have the native intelligence which the regulararmy may not have.

These vigilantes, in cooperation with the army, have already retakenseveral towns that Boko Haram has captured.

Boko Haram is afraid of these vigilante groups, according to oneresident. The local men know some of the insurgents personally andwould be able to identify them to security forces. For Boko Haram tooperate freely, “they must be sure they overcome those vigilantegroups.”

Boko Haram last week attacked Damasak, a town on the Cameroon border,killing dozens of people. There is evidence that this attack was arevenge attack against the town’s young men who have been joininganti-Boko Haram vigilante groups. BBC and VOA

Iran strongly denies it’s targeting ISIS with airstrikes, despite video

There has been video on al-Jazeera and elsewhere of Iranian war planesstriking ISIS targets in Iraq, and also of Iranian special forces onthe ground in Iraq. American officials have confirmed it. And yet,Iran’s foreign ministry has firmly denied any Iran military presencein Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS orISIL).

The situation is embarrassing for both America and Iran. Americanofficials have insisted strenuously that America and Iran are notcooperating or coordinating air strikes or any other military actionin Iraq, and that that Iraq government was responsible for a coordination of the two air forces that might be necessary, presumablyto make sure, for example, that American and Iranian war planes don’tcrash into each other. That’s because the administration doesn’t wantto be seen as cooperating in any way with Iran.

It’s even worse for the Iranians. The Iranian leadership, starting ontop with the delusional Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei,blames everything on “the Zionist regime” (Israel) and the “minions ofArrogance” (America). To show even the slightest cooperation witheither the Zionist regime or the minions of arrogance would underminethe entire purpose of his daily rants. In fact, I suspect that theentire government might collapse if he admitted to cooperating withthe Americans.

There’s another reason. Iran and Iraq fought a generational crisiswar in the 1980s, climaxing in 1988. Iraqi Sunnis do not trust theShia Iranians in any way, and one of the reasons that many of themhave joined ISIS is because they believe that Iraq’s Shia governmentin Baghdad is in league with Iran — which is undoubtedly true. Toadmit that Iranian warplanes were bombing targets in Iraq would onlyfurther infuriate the Iraqi Sunnis. The bombing is also making Iran’sSunni enemies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar nervous.

Still, more and more commentators are noting the irony of Iran andAmerica working together to oppose ISIS. I wrote ten years ago thatAmerican and Iran would be allies in the coming Clash of Civilizationsworld war, and we’re seeing that prediction come closer and closer toconfirmation almost every week. With Iran now bombing Sunni targetsin Iraq, it would take only one or two miscalculations to turn thisinto a broader sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias. Mehr News (Tehran) andAP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Nigeria, Cameroon, Boko Haram,Adamawa state, Bala James Nggilari, Damasak,Iran, Iraq, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Israel,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL
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