The Boko Haram massacre which recently took place in Nigeria, leaving more than 2,000 people dead, has been almost ignored by the world’s media, overshadowed by the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. The massacre has left towns in Borneo almost empty and went just as unaddressed by African leaders as it did European leaders and the global media. Does this tell us that the lives of European people are held in higher regard than those in Africa? Or is Europe just so narcissistic, that nothing could be as important as the dreadful attacks in our back yard?
3.7 million people joined the march of solidarity in France, yet social media and the media itself didn’t seem to bat an eyelid at the massacre that has been described by Amnesty International as the ‘deadliest massacre to date.’ The Boko Harem terrorists have been described as becoming a de-facto state, essentially controlling the entirety of Borneo. As much as Islam is a very present threat to Europe and the West, surely these hateful terrorists of equal if not far worse proportions gaining such power in Borneo is worthy of mass media coverage where possible?
The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, spoke in acknowledgement and solidarity in regards to the Paris attacks yet didn’t even acknowledge the Boko Harem massacre. There may have been reasons behind this, undoubtedly due to security and perhaps his desperate attempts to win the upcoming February election, but any western leader would instantly be made to feel ashamed and embarrassed by the lack of acknowledgement that these people have been murdered in cold blood. The same terrorist organisation has also been linked to the killing of another 16 people after the initial massacre, in a suicide bombing. What has to happen before the media in the West start to pay more attention to stories of massacre and killings in Africa? Have the world’s media have let us down by not reporting this harrowing event, instead just printing the same stories on the Charlie Hebdo attack? Are African lives not just as newsworthy as those lost in France? Perhaps this should be a time for reflection and realisation for the media and everyone else in the world, for more than one reason.