News in the Humanosphere: Chad takes the fight to Boko Haram

Screengrab from a Boko Haram video.

This ground intervention by Chad, which has the backing of the African Union, is significant for the fact that its the first time a neighboring country is so directly taking the fight to Boko Haram in Nigeria. The swift victory also portends well. “Chadian forces scored a key victory over Nigeria’s Boko Haram on Tuesday, wresting control of the border town of Gamboru within hours of launching a ground offensive against the jihadist group. Around 2,000 Chadian troops backed by armored vehicles crossed the border into Gamboru from the Cameroonian town of Fotokol after days of clashes with the insurgents.” (AFP http://yhoo.it/18Ky386)

U.S. drone strike targets Shabab leader in Somalia
“U.S. drone aircraft targeted a senior figure in Somalia’s Shebab militia, the Pentagon said Tuesday, in the latest bid to take out leaders of the al-Qaida-linked group. U.S. special operations forces “using unmanned aircraft and several Hellfire missiles” carried out the strike on Saturday against Shebab’s chief of external operations and planning, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.” (AFP http://yhoo.it/1u55pIi)

U.N.’s highest court says Serbia did not commit genocide in Croatia during Balkan wars. (AP http://yhoo.it/1zbaSNX)

USAID released a fact sheet containing the international development portions of President Obama’s budget request. Here it is:  http://1.usa.gov/1u57GTL

Africa

A bomb blast that went off just minutes after Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan left an election campaign rally was the work of a female suicide bomber, police said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1DtBCZn)

Some 150 journalists and civil rights activists in Burundi demonstrated Tuesday to demand the release of a radio station boss accused of complicity in the murder of three Italian nuns. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1DtBsRS)

South African education and human rights authorities said Tuesday they had launched investigations into racism at private schools after parents at one school complained that black and white pupils were segregated. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1DtBGbB)

The Zimbabwe government used violence and restricted humanitarian aid to force about 20,000 flood victims to resettle on tiny plots earmarked for a sugarcane plantation, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/18Kyhfn)

Hundreds of teachers in northern Kenya bordering Somalia have refused to return to work, fearing attacks by Islamic extremists, a union official and teachers said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/18KybED)

Weeks after floods deluged a swath of southern Africa, the full extent of the devastation in hardest-hit areas of Mozambique and Malawi is only now becoming clear. (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/16tZeTZ)

A spate of kidnappings in the Central African Republic illustrates the continuing levels of insecurity and instability in the country as it strives to turn the page on almost two years of extreme political violence. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1HV8UqY)

Britain’s Wellcome Trust said that clinical trials it was funding for a new Ebola vaccine in Liberia were halted on Tuesday due to a fall in new cases. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1u4j16t)

South Africans social entrepreneurs have come up with inventions aimed at curbing deadly fires and floods in the country’s crowded informal settlements. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BTlTAR)

A unit of the African Union said on Tuesday it was developing outbreak and epidemic insurance for African sovereigns following the Ebola outbreak. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1BTm0wb)

MENA

Canada’s foreign minister said the release of Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy from a prison in Egypt is “imminent.” (AP http://yhoo.it/18Kycsd)

A United Nations inquiry into possible war crimes in the Gaza conflict will produce its report on time next month despite the resignation of its chairman, officials said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BZ5ygC)

Israel called Tuesday for the shelving of a U.N. inquiry into its war last summer in the Gaza Strip after the probe’s head quit over Israeli accusations of conflict of interest. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1zbaUoZ)

The U.N. Security Council is condemning the apparent burning to death of a detained Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State extremist group as a “heinous and cowardly act.” (AP http://yhoo.it/16vbiUX)

Asia

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says the organization is trying to increase aid activities in Ukraine to help more than 5 million people affected by the conflict between the government and Russia-backed rebels. (AP http://yhoo.it/18KBID1)

In Pakistan, where just a third of married women use contraception, half of all pregnancies – 4.2 million each year – are unintended, according to the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1D9Pk5W)

Opposition activists in Bangladesh trying to enforce a transport boycott threw petrol bombs at a bus early on Tuesday setting off a fire that engulfed the vehicle killing seven people, a fire department officer said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1DtBmK5)

Indonesia’s government says it is preparing to execute eight convicted drug smugglers, including seven foreigners. (AP http://yhoo.it/1BZ8xFC)

At least eight people have been killed and many more rescued from high winds and flooding caused by a huge storm that has battered Turkey since Sunday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BZ5CN)

Already the world’s largest, China’s online population grew last year but drifted away from Twitter-like microblogs, with the number of microblog users falling by 32 million. (AP http://yhoo.it/1BZ8ucZ)

The Americas

Cuban state media released the first photographs of former president Fidel Castro in nearly six months in a bid to quiet rumors that his health is failing. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1DtBoBA)

The parents of Mexican students believed murdered by a drugs gang appealed to the United Nations for help in seeking justice, saying they had no faith in the government’s ability to investigate the crime. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Dv70XD)

A strike by bus drivers in Haiti that brought traffic to a halt in much of the country ended a day early Tuesday after the government agreed to further reduce the regulated price of fuel. (AP http://yhoo.it/16vbvr4)

The United Nations’ new human rights chief is making an official visit to the United States, the first such visit by the high commissioner since 2007. (AP http://yhoo.it/16vakb8)

The Colombian government lashed out at leftist FARC guerrillas Tuesday for failing to actively work to dismantle minefields present in half the country’s municipalities. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BTlDSj)

Opinion/Blogs

The invisible lesson of Invisible Children (IRIN http://bit.ly/1BSWoj4)

12 routes to more effective civil society in India (The Guardian http://bit.ly/1DCArHm)

4 things you probably know about poverty that Bill and Melinda Gates don’t (Fast CoExist http://bit.ly/1u4yqUg)

Why you shouldn’t really care that Robert Mugabe is president of the African Union. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1CsOzWD)

Where is the distribution of global wealth headed and why should we worry? (Mind the Gap http://bit.ly/16fyipV)

Ebola both a health and development crisis (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/16vbjs3)

Demography and democracy revisited (Dart-Throwing Chimp http://bit.ly/16fy41U)

Making change on a mobile handset (Next Billion http://bit.ly/1zdqWiq)

A development policy for the 21st century (Center For Global Development http://bit.ly/1zdqYH5)

International aid must support local reformers, not impose ready-made solutions (ODI http://bit.ly/16fyeXc)

The real population boom – the over 60s: great new killer facts and graphics from Age International (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/16fyg1e)

Research/Reports
Water scarcity could lead to conflict between communities and nations as the world is still not fully aware of the water crisis many countries face as a result of climate change, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists warned on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/18Kyf7c)
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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.

  • Kola Adekola

    So Chad alone is the multinational force (MNJTF) fighting boko haram on Nigeria’s borders?
    Wetin pesin no go hear?! This is exactly how stories were made up about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    MNJTF’s remit is to stop boko haram crossing the borders to regroup in their countries.
    It shouldn’t take much to check google to see that “all” the two towns MNJTF has captured straddle the Nigerian border.

    Previously, boko haram attacked Nigeria and simply melted away into safe havens in either Chad, Cameroon or Niger Republic. Indeed, a vast proportion of boko haram fighters are Chadians and light skinned Arabs. In boko harams last attack on Biu, 26% of the terrorists killed by the Nigerian army were Chadians.

    By the way, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic are all complementing Nigeria’s efforts by acting as an anvil in a sweeping offensive by the Nigerian armed forces.

    I’m sure in the next few days when the Nigerian army has defeated boko haram, the propaganda machine that is the press would claim Chad did it. I even read somewhere that the Chadian army is “well equipped,” yet don’t even have helmets (google “Nigerian soldier” then google “Chadian soldier” – pictures don’t lie). On the other hand, Nigerian soldiers have Kevlar helmets as standard, radio’s, bullet proof vests etc. Nigeria also has its own home grown drones, fields missile armed drones and has more satellites than the rest of Africa combined two with military capabilities).

    We are happy that our neighbour’s are cooperating at last, instead of mysteriously disappearing like they did from Baga, only for boko haram to attack. Lets leave it at that.

  • Kola Adekola

    There is word of a huge massacre by boko haram in one of the towns the press claims Chad has liberated.

    It is in Nigeria’s neighbours interests to cooperate, rather than engage in foolish propaganda.
    The Nigerian army is far stronger than almost every African army, so our neighbours actions are foolhardy.
    When boko haram is pushed out of Nigeria, they would have to call us to help them; boko haram is strong enough to take over their countries. It might happen in a matter of days now, because boko haram is getting handily decimated in Nigeria, in one instance alone 6000 have been surrounded.