Why Boko Haram’s Reign of Terror Has Been Tough to Track

Internally displaced children who fled their homes with their families following an attack by Islamist militants in North East, Nigeria, run round a soccer ground at a camp in Yola, Nigeria, Friday Nov. 28, 2014. Some thousands of people have fled their homes in recent times due to Boko Haram attacks. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba )
Internally displaced children who fled their homes with their families following an attack by Islamist militants in North East, Nigeria, run round a soccer ground at a camp in Yola, Nigeria, Friday Nov. 28, 2014.  Some thousands of people have fled their homes in recent times due to Boko Haram attacks. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba )
Internally displaced children who fled their homes with their families following an attack by Islamist militants in North East, Nigeria, run round a soccer ground at a camp in Yola, Nigeria, Friday Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

 

(PBS) –

GWEN IFILL: Even as the world’s attention has been focused on missing planes in the Java Sea and terror attacks in Paris, another disaster has been unfolding, steadily, but more quietly, in the remote northeast region of Nigeria.

There, the terrorist group Boko Haram has been on the rampage, conducting mass kidnappings and waging bloody attacks on civilians. On January 3, militants attacked the northern town of Baga and surrounding areas. But word was slow to get out. Residents began to flee the region, and it wasn’t until several days later that reports of death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people got the world’s attention.

The Nigerian military has put the number much lower, closer to 150. But Amnesty International has called it possibly the deadliest massacre in Boko Haram’s history that could mark a disturbing and bloody escalation.

For more on the recent attacks and the government response, I’m joined by Nii Akuetteh of the African Immigrant Caucus, an organization aimed at increasing political influence of the African diaspora. His career has focused on fostering relationships between the U.S. and African nations.

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