More analysis on the Nigerian crisis and Boko Haram

Written by: David Wiley

Primary Source: Africa Militarism Watch

In his excellent AfricaFocus Bulletin website, William Minter offers us on June 9, 2014 Nigeria: Beyond the Hashtag Debates containing more analyses from six sources plus the important Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s 5 June 2014 Briefing Paper, “Nigeria: Fleeing Boko Haram’s relentless terror.

Minter notes, “The debates on #BringBackOurGirls, a hashtag initiated by Nigerian protesters and picked up around the world, have ranged widely, without any clear consensus on answers to the complex questions of what should be done and by whom. It is easy to say that the longerterm response to Boko Haram must address broader causes, and that the Nigerian military must shift from a policy that adds to the violence rather than protecting people. But whether the outside world can find useful ways to assist such a change in Nigeria remains doubtful (a $6 million counter-terrorism satellite channel, just reported in the New York Times, seems a particularly clear example of what not to do).”

At his always interesting blog, another key analyst of Nigerian affairs, Carl Levan, offers more thinking on how to respond beyond the hashtags.  See Brainstorming with #BringBackOurGirls.

Levan notes that “Some of the most interesting and practical suggestions sprouting up from the grassroots have not been making their way into the broader discussions about finding Nigeria’s missing girls. Here are some ideas threaded together, based on my daily conversations with civil society organizations, government officials, and international solidarity activists…”

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David Wiley is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and African Studies at Michigan State University (MSU). He served as director of the African Studies Centers at MSU (1978-2008) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (1972-77). He has worked in Rhodesia and, with research on urban and rural environments, in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa and participated in the struggles for democracy and majority rule in Southern Africa. He has been President of the national African Studies Association; Vice-Chairperson of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO; and co-chair and co-founder of the Council of National Title VI Centers and the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. He is a member of the U.S. Africa Network and has chaired international committees of the National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Sociological Association. His recent research concerns environmental issues in South Africa, militarism in Africa, and international education in U.S. universities.