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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | March 21, 2019

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Focus on Nigeria bloodshed... at last

Nigerian children have been killed, kidnapped and have lost parents during the Islamist campaign by Boko Haram. Photo: Open Doors USA Devastation: Satellite images showed the devastation suffered by the towns of Baga and Doroh Baga by Boko Haram militants. Hundreds of people died and more than 3,700 structures were damaged in the onslaught. Photo: News Punch Baga dead: The murders of Baga residents by Islamists were largely ignored by the worldwide media which prioritised the Paris terrorist attack. Photo: Breaking Christian News

MEDIA ATTENTION is a strange thing – one news story gets everyone talking while another is barely noticed.

The Paris terror attacks had everyone absorbed minute-by-minute as websites were studied for updates and TV news channels carefully watched. No one could argue with the visual impact of the horror seen in photos and video.

However on the other side of the world, in a fishing town called Baga, on the shore of Lake Chad in northern Nigeria, a massacre took place in the same time period. The sight of strewn corpses following a genocide of an estimated 2,000 people were also captured on smart phone cameras and the like. The images too were put on some social media sites and websites.

And no one in authority really noticed.

It has taken a long time for the international community to talk about what happened when the Boko Haram Islamists shed the blood of the innocent villagers. Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, even had to give a video message confessing to the crimes before anyone properly noticed.

“We killed the people of Baga. We indeed killed them, as our lord instructed us in his book,” was his attention-seeking plea.

USA President Barack Obama has recently spoken with French President Francois Hollande about supporting a regional strategy against the militants.

This help will be too late for the thousands of Christians and other faith people who have died at the hands of the militants. Some 2,484 believers have so far died in Nigeria from the violence, according to Open Doors latest statistics.

Chris Eyte