Fatal Bombing in Nigeria Leads to Unrest Blocking of Infrastructure

Posted on Nov 12, 2014

A tragic and violent attack on a school in the northeastern Nigerian state of Yobe in early November killed 48 people and injured 79 more, with the majority of casualties being students, teachers and other staff. Reuters reported a suicide bomber dressed as a student of the school, located in the town of Potiskum, detonated the device during a morning assembly where most of the school's employees and students were gathered. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the act, although some residents are speculating that the violence has to do with fundamentalist group Boko Haram, which has long been in conflict with the Nigerian government.

Nigeria has faced a recent spate of bombing attacks

A disputed cease-fire agreement
The Nigerian government had announced that a tentative truce was reached with Boko Haram in October. The terms included both a general cease-fire and the release of hundreds of female Nigerian students who had previously been abducted by the insurgents in an effort to promote Boko Haram's belief structure. While Nigerian authorities said that the cease-fire was successfully negotiated, Boko Haram has said that no such agreement is in place and the group has no plans to return the hostages. Reuters pointed out that part of Boko Haram's modus operandi is the attack of educational institutions, with the group's name roughly translating to "Western education is sinful." Voice of America said Yobe has been one of the most heavily affected states during the insurgency, and was one of three such divisions placed under a state of emergency because of conflicts with Boko Haram.

Unrest followed
The immediate aftermath of the bombing had a contentious atmosphere, as local residents impeded the path of Nigerian security forces to the scene of the crime. Reuters said the locals blocked access because of an incident following a previous school bombing, which led to security forces opening fire on some of the assembled citizens. Some of the local residents who were in the area were acting as a barrier to an adjoining hospital, while others were using their bodies as a barricade for the school where the bomb had detonated.

Businesses need to be aware
The violence in Nigeria is of special interest to multinational businesses. Thanks to Nigeria's position as one of the economic leaders of Africa, companies are more likely to have some sort of involvement with the country. The attention of corporate security staff at organizations with business interests in the area has to be focused on the unfolding situation in Nigeria.


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