Le souffle de la pauvreté sur les flammes de l’insurrection nigériane

LAGOS – Les forces de sécurité nigérianes ont récemment rasé de la carte un village de pêcheurs situé au nord-est du pays, faisant près de 200 morts et détruisant quelque 2 000 maisons, une opération uniquement destinée à neutraliser une poignée de membres de la secte islamiste radicale Boko Haram. Cet assaut est le reflet de la frustration grandissante de l’armée à l’égard des extrémistes, qui ont procédé à des dizaines d’attaques ces quatre dernières années. Et si le président nigérian Goodluck Jonathan et le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies Ban Ki-moon ont condamné la lourdeur de l’approche militaire du pays, ce n’est pas la première fois – et certainement pas la dernière – que le conflit avec les extrémistes engendre d’importants dommages collatéraux.

Le groupe Boko Haram, dont le principal objectif consiste à contraindre le Nigéria d’adopter la charia, s’est révélé étonnamment résistant depuis qu’il a déclaré la guerre au gouvernement en 2009, en réponse à l’exécution par l’armée de son dirigeant Mohammed Yusuf. En recourant à des tactiques de guérillas isolées et autres attaques suicide à la bombe, Boko Haram est parvenu à s’attaquer aux postes de police, bâtiments gouvernementaux et églises, ôtant la vie à des milliers de personnes. Malgré de nombreux affrontements avec les forces spéciales de l’armée à Borno et à Yobe, États du nord dans lesquels la secte est la plus active, Boko Haram fait preuve de la plus grande résistance.

Les susceptibilités politiques qui se jouent dans un nord majoritairement musulman ont contraint Jonathan, chrétien du sud, à agir avec mesure dans ses efforts de lutte contre Boko Haram. De nombreux habitants du nord déplorent le fait que la présidence soit retournée à un sudiste après seulement un mandat de fonctions exercées par un nordiste (un accord informel mettant en place une alternance de la présidence entre le nord et le sud tous les deux mandats).

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