Published On: Thu, Feb 12th, 2015 on 4:45 pm

Leeds students hold vigil to remember Baga massacre victims

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A silent vigil has been held in solidarity with those who lost their lives, families and livelihoods during the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

Leeds Vigil Baga Attacks

Image: Julia Brown.

University students organised the vigil following the attacks on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga that took place on 3 January last month.

Militant group Boko Haram, which was responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in April last year, murdered scores of innocent people in the towns.

Various reports estimated 2,000 people killed.

Amnesty International reported that over 3,000 buildings were damaged or completely destroyed, and the attacks were “the largest and most destructive” the organisation had analysed.

“This needs to be recognised as a human rights issue”

Organise of the vigil in Leeds, Ivan Yohuno, said: “I felt a deep sense of shock and sadness when I heard the news of the slaughter in Baga, which also reignited the hurt from past attacks by Boko Haram including the kidnappings in Chibok. I wanted to remember the lives lost and all those who were hurt by senseless terrorism and somehow show people that this matters and that we care.

“The media needs to pay attention and make sure the world is paying attention, everyone needs to know what is happening otherwise action will not come and there will be no sense of security in Nigeria.

“Corruption and fear in Nigeria’s government will not treat this as it should be unless they have the pressure of the world on them. This needs to be recognised as a human rights issue, otherwise it will get brushed under the rug, a contribution to the myth that Africa is weak.”

One of the vigil attendees, Kyle Gray, said: “Nigerian lives are the same, the darker the skin doesn’t mean that your lives are worth less. If you look at Charlie Hebdo, how many leaders across the world came to Paris, including African leaders?

“Yet the atrocity was committed in their own continent and leaders couldn’t even go to Lagos or any place in Nigeria to show solidarity with these people and try to rid the North of Nigeria of terrorists.”

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