Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    What’s our true intention?

    In Nigeria on April 15, 276 young girls were kidnapped from their school dormitories in the town of Chibok just as they were preparing to take final exams.

    These girls were kidnapped by a Jihadist Military group called Boko Haram, which has threatened to sell the girls as slaves or child wives. The families of these young girls have taken to the streets in Nigeria, demanding that their government rescue them; however, the government apparently has done nothing. Some call it apathy, others call it a weakness of the Nigerian Government since it simply does not have the resources to allocate to this rescue.

    Boko Haram has been classified as a “terrorist” group which has been bombing, assassinating, and kidnapping in Nigeria. Some sources, such as Al Jazeera, indicate that the group is trying to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

    Amnesty International has gathered information that the Nigerian Government has been responsible for many deaths of innocent people who have been accused of belonging to this group

    “The evidence we’ve gathered suggests that hundreds of people died in military custody in 2013 alone. This is a staggeringly high figure that requires urgent action by the Nigerian government,” Amnesty International said in its report.

    In Nigeria there is also the reality of vast inequality that contributes to the amplification of violence. “Despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the most unequal countries in the world, according to the UN. The poverty in the north is in stark contrast to the more developed southern states,” according to Al Jazeera.

    In both the United States and internationally, a new thread of social media activism has started with the hashtag “#bringbackourgirls” that has been used all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Government officials and celebrities have also used social media to garner support. Even Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of herself, with that hashtag. With all of this media attention, the White House has recognized this issue and promised to send a team of military and law enforcement to help rescue the girls.

    But what does that mean and why exactly do the American people think that a hashtag can save these 276 girls or that U.S. intervention is a good thing? Why is the focus on this issue, when there are dozens of atrocities committed by the U.S. government itself that have gone unnoticed?

    The U.S. intervention in Afghanistan is responsible for thousands of children and civilians who were killed. In fact, we can conclude that U.S. intervention leads to violence and the worsening of conditions for any country in which it has decided to “intervene.”

    Many Nigerian people have also taken to the Internet to share their opinions on social activism and U.S. intervention; Compare Afrique.com states in a recent blog post, “Here’s the thing though, when you pressure Western powers, particularly the American government to get involved in African affairs and when you champion military intervention, you become part of a much larger problem.

    “You become a complicit participant in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa. This is not good.” The U.S. has in fact been trying to expand its military in Africa; United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is an administrative headquarters, located in Stuttgart, Germany, responsible to Department of Defense in over 53 African countries whose sole purpose is to “advance U.S. national security interests.”

    So what is exactly the interest of the U.S. government in bringing back the girls? There are many sources of information available and it’s important for Americans to be educated on the matter.

    However, we cannot ignore past U.S. interventions and we cannot support military intervention in Nigeria. What we can support is the cause against violence and injustice everywhere.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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