Skeptics: Nigeria In Over Its Head with Boko Haram
More than a month has passed since the radical Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped dozens of girls in Nigeria.
The government there has vowed to rescue the girls. But in the northeast corner of the country, the epicenter of Boko Haram's insurgency, one of the group's victims is skeptical that his government is equipped to take them on.
Alhaji Ali Hassan lost three of his brothers in a Boko Haram attack last month.
"The truth of the matter is that there is nothing we can do," he said. "Boko Haram has all kinds of guns."
Now there's growing concern the Islamic group has infiltrated the Nigerian military.
"The Nigerian army is supposed to protect us," Hassan said. "They were very close by, but they refused to come and defend us."
Hassan lives in Chibok in Borno State, the same village where the 276 school girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 14.
The group has forced the girls, the vast majority of whom were Christians, to convert to Islam.
Boko Haram said it will release about 100 of the girls in exchange for some of their fighters held in prison. But the Nigerian government said it will not negotiate with terrorists.
"We are totally committed to ensuring that these girls are found wherever they are," Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed at a summit in France.
Those words were of little comfort to the distraught mothers of some of the girls, who are fed up with the government's inaction.
"No, no, not enough has been done," one mother said.
"Help us," another mother cried. "We need your help!"
Yet another mother said, "I believe in God that I will see my daughter again."
Several African countries, with Western backing, have declared war on Boko Haram. Meanwhile, Nigeria's president said the Islamic group has killed more than 12,000 people."
"Quite frankly Boko Haram has been creating havoc for some time," U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said.
"And now the world's attention is on that fact. All of the surrounding nations have their eyes on that fact," she said.
A day after a suicide bomber killed five people in a Christian neighborhood in northern Nigeria, police on Monday said they detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives in the same city.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram is threatening to kidnap more children.