The former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was spoke allegorically yet on point when she told CBS news crew recently that the “world is a mess”. Her submission could not be more apt: the world is in turmoil, boiling with rage and hate; peace and amity have taken flight while terrorism and hostility have engulfed the better part of our space.
Checklist: In Gaza, Israeli Defence Forces are currently bombarding the defiant Hammas-led Palestine and killing in the process hundreds of defenseless women and children; in Ukraine, rebel group, armed and supported by Kremlin, are at the moment up in arms against the country, leading to the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane with over two hundred passengers on board penultimate week and earning Putin’s Russia more economic sanctions by the US and EU. In Syria, the almost three years of rebellion to oust the dictatorship of Bashir Al Asaad regime has led to the death of over 150, 000 people and counting. Allegation of use of chemical weapon by the government to decimate rebel strongholds rented the air much of last year and the scares are still fresh and dripping.
There is also a Libya where armed groups have sprang up in deadly hostility against each other, stemming from the uprising that uprooted the Ghadafi dictatorship and which also led to the unforgettable brutal killing of the United States Ambassador to the country. Then there is the reclusive North Korea with a youthful but whimsical and belligerent leader who is amassing weapons and threatening to nuke its neighbors and even the United States, at the slightest of provocations. Not forgetting Iran which is fast becoming the headquarters of global terrorism and arrow-head of anti-western sentiment, and of course, Iraq where fresh wave of violence have broken to accentuate the deadly terrorist activities that characterized the country since the decimation of Sadam Hussein’s reign by US and her Western allies a couple of years ago.
We also have Afghanistan and neighbor Pakistan, where the entrenched and resilient terrorist group, the Taliban, has continued to wreck havoc despite the long presence of the mighty army of United States and her allies. It was the Taliban that shot the now globally acclaimed teenage girl-child education advocate, Malala Yusef for daring to seek education.
The world is also afflicted with a Somalia where the entire structures of governance have collapsed owing to the murderous activities of daring sea pirates and formidable Islamist militant gangs rallied by the Al Shabab terrorist cell and whose influence has equally brought devastating terrorist activities to neighboring Kenya. Then we have Sudan where United Nations are still maintaining peacekeeping troops in the Dafur region that is plagued with the infamous Janjaweed militants; its neighbor, South Sudan also plunged itself into a bloody war of attrition moments after becoming an independent nation over control oil producing areas.
What of the Central African Republic (CAR) where the unrelenting Selaka group has continued to advance their violent campaign with the latest demand for a division of the country into two, one for Christians and the other for Muslims consequent upon the bloody sectarian strife that led to the death of hundreds of locals. Also, along the Sahel belt is where the activities of the Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) still constitute a huge threat to peace and security, stretching up to Mali, Niger Republic and TChad.
The situation in Nigeria is equally dire and shares the same pattern of brutality that characterizes the global terror network. Here, a group of misguided elements called Boko Haram sprang up with no coherent or tenable agenda but with much venom against hapless members of the public. A hitherto unknown Islamic sect, Boko Haram has since morphed into a band of merciless Islamic fundamentalists with obvious links with global terror network. They claim to oppose all forms of western education and civilization, and are quite determined to ensure that nobody in the north of Nigeria should seek western education. Initially they consider as their primary target for attacks, law enforcement agents, critical public infrastructures and centers of worship which in their view are opposed to their doctrines. In no time their venom of hate and quest for bloodshed knew no bounds as nothing or anyone seemed sacrosanct to them anymore. They would bomb churches, mosques, schools, media houses, and markets, and abduct innocent citizens, particularly women. The group is still holding hostage over 200 school girls they abducted from Chibok in Borno State, north east of the country.
The next is Cameroun where the chicken has come home to roost. The blood thirsty Boko Haram terrorists who have been using Cameroonian territory to plan and launch attacks against Nigeria and run back there to hide has now turned against the country, killing a number of her soldiers and abducting the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister. She was later released after hours of gun duel between troops and the terrorists that led to the death of over 16 people. With this few bitter lessons, it is must very clear to Cameroun by now that terrorists are not to be courted, romanced or sympathized with.
It is really a cocktail of confusion across the world. Global peace and security remains a mirage, and violence seems to define our world, at least for now. The trajectory of this malaise afflicting the world today shows clearly that it mostly borders on terrorism and other patterns of warfare that are asymmetrical in nature and that they are nurtured by implacable religious fundamentalists and ideologues. More importantly, it shows that crisis and conflict are not localized in one country, region or continent rather it is a global affliction threatening global peace. Nigerians must work in one accord in order to come out of own pot of mess.
*Chidi Omeje is the Executive Director of Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness (CISA)
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