Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hundreds Arrested as Biafra Zionists Declare Independence, Former Dictator Nixes Boko Haram Negotiations, More Northern Carnage: Nigerian Separatism Update, 4-10 November 2012

Igbo Separatists from Rival Groups Arrested as Biafra Zionists Declare Independence.  A press statement from the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), released on November 3rd, demanded that police in Nigeria’s Anambra State release of three MASSOB officers who were arrested when they tried two days earlier to hand a member of another Igbo secessionist group to the authorities.  The other group, the Biafra Zionist Movement (B.Z.M.), claimed last week (as reported at the time in this blog) that MASSOB had abducted four B.Z.M. members, including its leader, Benjamin Onwuka.  Meanwhile, at least 100 B.Z.M. members were arrested at a rally in Enugu State on November 5th, the date of a planned B.Z.M. declaration of independence.  Some reports put the number at 500, adding that Onwuka was among those arrested and that authorities also confiscated 61 Biafran flags (which are illegal to display in Nigeria), along with B.Z.M. uniforms.  At least 100 were charged with treason.

The Biafra Zionist Movement, celebrating their declaration of independence.
The French and Israeli flags represent nations they, quixotically, hope will recognize them.
17 Dead in Week of Boko Haram Violence, Including Bombs, Drive-By Shootings.  Three people, including a fire chief, were killed on November 2nd in Nigeria’s insurgency-torn northeastern Borno State by gunmen suspected of being members of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram.  The perpetrators set fire to government offices and a state-run housing estate in the town of Damboa, then opened fire on firefighters who responded to the blaze.  In addition to the fire chief, two security guards were killed.  In Kano, in northern Nigeria, three people were killed in a drive-by shooting on November 4th, blamed on Boko Haram.  Two days later, in Gashua, in Yobe State, Nigerian troops killed four suspected Boko Haram members in a shootout during a raid on a suspected terrorist hideout.  Four were arrested, and a cache of weapons was seized.  The victims and those arrested were suspected of carrying out an attack on November 4th in Fika, also in Yobe State.  Two people were dead in two separate explosions in northeastern Nigeria on November 7th.  The first, at a cattle market in Mubi, in Adamawa State, targeted a military patrol but instead killing two civilians.  Children were among those seriously injured.  The same day, in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, a remote-controlled roadside bomb went off while a military patrol passed, but there were no casualties.  Also the same day, in Benishek, Borno State, two Chinese engineers at a worksite were killed by unidentified gunmen.  In Bonny Yadi, in Yobe State, Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station, killing three police and stole weapons before burning down the station along with three churches and a primary school.  Meanwhile, Boko Haram has denied any role in the killing of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Shuwa, a hero of the Nigerian Civil War (outside Nigeria a.k.a. the Biafra War), who was shot dead along with two others in Maiduguri, the Borno capital, on November 2nd (as reported at the time in this blog).

Former Nigerian Dictator Rejects Role of Mediating with Boko Haram.  A former military dictator of NigeriaMuhammadu Buharideclined this week to act as a mediator between the current democratic government of Nigeria and the brutal Islamist insurgent group in the north of the countryBoko Haram.  The use of Buhari as a mediator was one of the conditions for peace talks laid out in a conference call on November 1st between journalists and a self-described Boko Haram spokesman (as reported last week in this blog).  Locating the talks in Saudi Arabia was another condition.  The Nigerian government has rejected the proposal.  Buhari is a Muslim from the Fulani ethnic group, which dominates the northern insurgency.

Muhammadu Buhari, though a Fulani, wants no part in any Boko Haram negotiations.
Boko Haram Commander Escapes from Police Custody in Abuja.  A leading Boko Haram commander, Sani Mohammedescaped from police custody on November 8th in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.  Mohammed and another commander, Kabir Sokoto, were arrested in January 2012.

[For those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with my forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas.  The book, which contains dozens of maps and over 500 flags, is now in the layout phase and should be on shelves, and available on Amazon, by early fall 2014.  I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.  Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even though you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook.]

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