Boko Haram targets village vigilantes
ABUJA – Militants in Nigeria have raided three villages and killed those they accused of being anti-Boko Haram vigilantes, residents have told the BBC.
More than 30 people were killed in the attacks overnight into today in north-eastern Borno state, they said.
The raids took place as the UN Security Council approved sanctions against the Islamist group.
It is five weeks since Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls, prompting international outrage.
Nigerian officials say President Goodluck Jonathan is due to travel to South Africa for discussions with other African heads of state on combating terrorism in Africa following on from last weekend’s summit hosted by France.
Earlier his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame said African presidents should take responsibility for their failures and resolve their own conflicts together.
“I find that our leaders, who should have been working together all along to address these problems that only affect their countries, wait until they are invited to go to Europe. Why does anybody wait for that? What image does it even give about Africa?” he said.
Residents from two of the villages that came under attack said militants had arrived in a convoy and gathered the men of the community together.
They accused them of being members of vigilante groups and killed them all, one villager from Moforo in Marte district who escaped across the border to Cameroon told the BBC Hausa service.
They then burnt down all the shops in the market, leaving the villagers destitute, he said.
Correspondents say that most villages have formed vigilante groups to try to protect their communities from militant attacks.
A resident of Kimbi village in Biu district said the villagers contacted the security forces to alert them to their attack, but were told it was not an area under military control so they could not be helped. The military has not commented on the allegation. About 25 men were killed in Moforo, another eight men in Kimbi. It is not known if there were casualties from a raid early today on Kabrihu village near the Sambisa forest.
The latest attacks came after another deadly village raid in Borno and twin bombings which killed 122 in the central city of Jos on Tuesday. The authorities also suspect Boko Haram of being behind those attacks, but there has so far been no claim of responsibility from the group.
Boko Haram was added to the UN Security Council’s al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee’s list of designated entities yesterday at the request of Nigeria.