A statement today apparently from the Boko Haram militant faction has threatened further attacks on troops as well as a three day ultimatum for Nigerian Christians to leave the northern, traditionally Muslim half of the nation.
“We are giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away,” said spokesman Abul Qaqa, while warning that troops in the area where the “state of emergency” was declared would be targeted. Nigeria is said to be closing border crossings around the northeast as part of the border closing.
The statement comes after weeks of rising violence across northern Nigeria, including attacks against Christian churches on Christmas. Boko Haram claimed credit for those attacks as well.
The Nigerian government has been increasingly at a loss as to how to tackle the Boko Haram militancy, launching a massacre against the group in 2009 only to see it turn from a machete wielding group of anti-technology zealots into a full scale modern terrorist organization in response. Since then, violence hasn’t been nearly so easy, and abortive efforts to negotiate a settlement have likewise failed.
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