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Dealing with terrorists: Chad’s State of Emergency

By November 12, 2015

BTTBchadmapChad (MNN/VOM) — Lake Chad has been the source of enough problems. Boko Haram attacks on Sunday and Monday left little choice other than to crack down. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, explains, “The government of Chad has declared a state of emergency in that region right along the Nigerian border. This gives the authorities the right to restrict the movement of people and vehicles. It gives the right to search homes and recover arms [weapons].”

Suicide bomb attacks have been increasing in frequency in the region. Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremist group has been using girls and women, raising fears that kidnapped victims were forced to carry out this part of the terrorists’ agenda. Today, Boko Haram is in Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria. Nettleton explains, “There have been Boko Haram fighters that have gone into each of those countries. In some cases, they have gone simply to expand their influence. In some cases, they have gone because the Nigerian military was moving forward against them. They crossed those national boundaries in order to get sanctuary.”

Why Chad? The country joined a regional task force to tackle Boko Haram. They helped Nigeria retake most of the areas Boko Haram had seized in northern Nigeria. This was land Boko Haram had declared an Islamic caliphate, under the auspices of the Islamic State terror group. Nettleton says to be considered a caliphate, “It has to control actual land. It has to be led by a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed. Once there is a Caliphate, good Muslims are supposed to pledge allegiance to it. They’re supposed to do whatever they can to help, to stand with and even to go and join.” The Islamic State fits that definition. “You have now Islamic State in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. Now you have Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Niger and Chad and Cameroon; Al Shabaab in Somalia–all of these people working from the same playbook.”

bokoharam-video-bannerThe militants’ 6-year uprising has killed approximately 20,000 people in total. At least two million citizens have been driven from their homes, some crossing borders in desperate search of safe refuge. Yet, says Nettleton, “People don’t pay attention to Africa, in general. Typically, Americans say, ‘Yeah, that’s 10,000 miles from here. Why should we pay attention?’” Facing up to the possibility of world domination sounds too much like a bad science fiction movie. The reality, says Nettleton, is that there is also an unwillingness to talk about the joining up of all of these Islamic radical groups and a tendency to underestimate what that might mean. “They really are following their understanding of Islamic teaching, and we discount that.”

Flag of jihad, carried by Boko Haram (Image courtesy Wikipedia)

Flag of jihad, carried by Boko Haram
(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

Resistance: is it futile? Only if you are fighting on the wrong plane. This one is a spiritual fight, and that means spiritual tools are needed. Nettleton explains that the reason they ask people to pray is because that’s the first thing persecuted Christians request. “Pray for encouragement. Pray that they won’t lose hope. Pray that they will have opportunities to be a witness for Christ, even as they’re persecuted.”

While the battle rages on, we worship a sovereign God. Please pray for:

  1. Hope and encouragement for Christians in Nigeria
  2. The nations terrorized by Boko Haram
  3. God to soften the hearts of Boko Haram militants

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