The direct results of the War on Terror have yet again seen innocent civilians killed, and many more critically injured. These are the results of listening to the advice of Western governments, especially the United States.
When Boko Haram gained international attention in 2014 for kidnapping over 300 schoolgirls in northeastern Nigeria, so-called military advisors from Western nations flocked to the country. Their mission was simple: to advise the Nigerian government on how to defeat the militants.
We can authoritatively report that among these advisors were French, British and Americans. As expected, these advisors recommended that the Nigerian government’s only way to defeat the militants was by use of force.
They offered the Nigerian military training on intelligence gathering, operation of both manned and unmanned bomb vehicles, as well as other weapons handling. The training wasn’t limited to the Nigerian military, either. Countries such as Cameroon, Niger and Chad also received the training. Boko Haram militants are active in all of these countries.
Publicly, the West claims to be providing aid to help the Nigerian government’s fight against the militants. But privately, this so-called aid is given with strings attached. All weapons needed for the military operations should come from the West, in the end, financially feeding the military industrial complex.
Since the military operation against the militants in the northeast of the country commenced, residents in northeastern small villages have complained of airstrikes targeting them. Even in one of the videos released by Boko Haram, a fighter was seen saying some of the kidnapped schoolgirls have died from the Nigerian military airstrikes. Recently, Boko Haram freed some of the kidnapped girls. The girls confirmed that three of their classmates were killed by the Nigerian military air bombardments over the forest they were being held in by the militants.
The military has consistently denied these claims, saying the airstrikes were directed at the militants and that it is indeed crippling the enemy.
However, contrary to reports, it has now emerged that the Nigerian military bombed a camp inhabited by displaced people, close to the Cameroon border. More than 100 people are reported to have died in the strike. Over 100 others have also been injured. Some of the injuries are said to be so severe that the death toll is likely to rise.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the heinous attack on his official Twitter account, expressing his condolence.
The horrendous attack happened in the village of Rann, part of the Kala-Balge local government area on the Cameroon border in Borno State.
According to local media reports, the devastating attack was ordered by the country’s counter-insurgency operations chief in the northeast, Major General Lucky Irabor. General Irabor later confirmed to Reuters that he ordered the attack based on intelligence that Boko Haram fighters were in the area. He revealed that the pilot was given the coordinates for where the militants were believed to be meeting. According to the General, the attack, which has destroyed many lives, was an error, and that investigations are underway to unravel what caused the error.
Among the dead and wounded were volunteers working for both local and international aid organizations in the northeast.
An employee with the International Committee of the Red Cross, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that 20 Red Cross volunteers were among the dead.
The bombing was condemned by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF described the incident as “shocking and unacceptable.”
A spokeswoman for MSF told The Independent that the organization was helping people fleeing Boko Haram violence in the area before this tragedy. She said MSF is still trying to ascertain how many of its workers were caught in the attack.
Jean-Clement Cabrol, Director of Operations at MSF said, “This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable. The safety of civilians must be respected.”
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have taken to social media to voice their displeasure at the gore and carnage committed by the military. Some have called for the sacking of all military personnel who took part in the attack. But despite the public anger, those who took part in the attack are still at post. Once again, many innocent lives have been lost, and the War on Terror continues unhindered and unabated.