- Wanted: a shepherd for the Windy City
One of the most important sees in the United States, Chicago, has to be filled, after Cardinal Francis George declared his wish to resign on the grounds of age and ill-health
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- French cardinal calls for solidarity of ‘flesh and blood’ with Iraqi Christians as he arrives in Kurdistan
- Welby urges Palestinians and Israelis to abandon 'self-defeating' violence that could lead to 'greater disaster'
- German bishops: Churches share blame for Europe’s slide into First World War
- Pope Francis and WEA exchange apologies for Churches' past mistreatment of each other
Concern that elements of the Nigerian army support Boko Haram terrorists have been voiced by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja. He pointed to local newspaper reports in Nigeria that a dozen senior officers and several enlisted men have been court-martialled recently for supplying arms to Boko Haram.
“It is clear that there are Boko Haram sympathisers within the army,” Cardinal Onaiyekan told Fides News, “but it is difficult to quantify how many there are.” He expressed concern that “the problem of Boko Haram threatens to undermine the unity of the Nigerian armed forces, especially if one gets to the point of interpreting what is happening in northern Nigeria as a religious clash between Christians and Muslims.”
This is “a very dangerous vision, which could undermine the unity of the police and army” for “you have Christians and Muslims who have hitherto acted together, as soldiers of our armed forces”.
The Nigerian military has faced mounting criticism for failing to stop terrorist attacks in the northeast of Nigeria, meaning that a portion of the territory of Nigeria is beyond the control of the Government.
Despite a state of emergency in the region, residents say the army is largely inactive or even absent, allowing Boko Haram to continue killing. The army was accused last weekend of ignoring warnings as at least 200 civilians were slaughtered by Boko Haram in three villages in Borno state. People in Gwoza district had pleaded for the army to send soldiers to the area after hearing rumours that terrorists were planning an attack, but no military protection arrived. Another 20 women were kidnapped on 5 June close to where 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April.