Our world is in a vicious cycle. Crises plague our planet, but our attention mainly gravitates towards the most publicized and current event. People raise awareness while an issue is hot with purest intentions, yet as soon as coverage ceases, so does our concern. Widely broadcasted or not, horrific genocides are still occurring worldwide. I hope this creates feelings of discomfort for you, as it does for me.
Today I want to remember Nigeria: a disintegrating nation that has taken the back burner to much of our attention. Many of us were aware of this Nigeria’s state of emergency when the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram was covered approximately one year ago. Significant awareness was raised through the hash-tag #BringBackOurGirls. I prayed for these girls often when they were in the media, but I admit as soon as their story faded from the news, so did my engagement. As paralyzing as this conviction can be, I refuse to ruminate in it. It is not too late. I want to encourage us all to #BringBackOurAwareness. What spurred this conflict in Nigeria? What is happening now? What can we do? View this brief overview of Nigeria’s conflict.
What spurred this conflict in Nigeria?
Terrorist group Boko Haram arose originally as a non-violent alternative to the Nigerian government. They began to stage attacks and declared war against Christians and democracy in an effort to overthrow Nigeria’s secular government and establish and Islamic State.
What is happening now?
Many civilians are currently captive in Boko Haram territory; unable to reach humanitarian services. Nigerian security forces continue to fail to provide adequate support and are even participating in human rights violations. Northern Nigeria has been “rendered ungovernable” due to violence. “Boko Haram attacks exacerbate existing social, ethnic and religious tensions, heightening the possibility of renewed inter-communal violence.” Civilians are seriously at risk. (http://www.globalr2p.org/regions/nigeria)
What can we do?
Engage the issues persistently. Raise your voice. #BringBackOurAwareness