Turkey Bans Boko Haram Amid Criticism for State Sponsoring Terrorism
nsnbc : After a scandal in March, implicating Turkey’s intelligence service, Turkish Airlines and persons close to Prime Minister Erdogan in smuggling weapons to insurgents in Nigeria, Turkey designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The insurgents still hold 200 girls kidnapped in April and kidnapped additional 20 women, also from Chibok, Nigeria.
The Turkish government designated the Nigerian Islamic fundamentalist insurgency Boko Haram as terrorist organization. The measure is in accordance with a UN Security Council decision from late May, that placed the insurgency on the UN’s list over terrorist organizations with ties to al-Qaeda.
The Turkish government’s measure came into effect on June 10, after the publication in Turkey’s Public Gazette. The measure also pertains the seizing of assets of persons and legal entities linked to Boko Haram.
The measure comes as the Turkish government increasingly comes under domestic and international pressure with regard to state-sponsored terrorism. It is not much more than a week ago that the Erdogan administration added the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusrah, which is fighting the armed forces of Syria, to Turkey’s list over banned terrorist organizations.
The recording, leaked by the Başçalan Haramzadeler Youtube account, discloses the details of a conversation, allegedly between Mustafa Varank, the Chief Adviser to Erdogan and Turkish Airlines (THY) Executive Assistant Mehmet Karakas, discussing the delivery of weapons to insurgents in Nigeria.
The conversation also implicates the Turkish intelligence service MIT. Varank, Karakas and Turkish Airlines challenged the authenticity of the recording. A German audio engineer and a Turkish expert in voice analysis reported to nsnbc that the likelihood that the recording is genuine is very high.
The release of the audio prompted demands for investigations into the matter from Turkey’s opposition parties and prompted international calls on core NATO member Turkey to revise its policy with regard to state-sponsoring terrorism.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram has reportedly kidnapped additional 20 women in northeastern Nigeria. About 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped on April 15. Some of the girls managed to escape while Boko Haram still holds about 200 of them, reportedly threatening to auction the girls off.
Human trafficking and slavery is widespread in Nigeria, as analyst and nsnbc editor Christof Lehmann reported in his article “How Colonialism Benefits from Boko Haram’s Mass Kidnapping of Girls”.
A member of a civic self-defense group established to protect the town against Boko Haram, told the press that gunmen arrived on June 5 in the Garkin and Fulani settlements. Insurgents reportedly forced 20 women into cars at gunpoint and drove off with them. Three young men who attempted to stop the kidnapping were also dragged along by the kidnappers.
The Nigerian military is coming under increased criticism for its handling of the kidnapping. In late May the military headquarters told families of the abducted girls that they know where the girls were being held but that the military would not want to risk harming the girls in the attempt to liberate them.
There has also been a concerted campaign alleging the involvement of military officers with Boko Haram which was rejected by the military.
Some analysts warn about the involvement of intelligence services of core NATO member states and an attempt to “engineer” a pretext for an increased US/NATO military foot print in Nigeria and the region. British Premier David Cameron has invited foreign ministers of Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger to attend a meeting in the British capital London on June 12, to discuss issues pertaining the Boko Haram insurgency.
A similar meeting was hosted by French President Francois Hollande in Paris on May 17. It is noteworthy that France has virtually absolute control over the national economies of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and other UMEOA member states in the region.
Ch/L – nsnbc 11.06.2014