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Nigeria's Boko Haram a holy war? Maybe not entirely

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It’s a lesson that rings true for many Kenyans as well. After post-election riots in 2007-2008, which targeted ethnic communities loyal to Kenya’s main political parties, Kenyans realized that their political leaders were using ethnic suspicions for their own political purposes, and with murderous results. More than 1,300 people were killed, and another 600,000 displaced from their homes after the December 2007 elections ended with disputed results.

Africa cannot afford to allow its territory to become a proxy battleground for its own politicians, or for the ideological wars over “terrorism” of foreign nations and radical interests, the archbishop and others say.

"The ‘terrorist’ and ‘insurgent’ groups in various parts of the world are a phenomenon of the early twenty-first century. They teach us that there is something fundamentally flawed about global governance,” says Jesse Mugambi, a professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of Nairobi. “Such groups are in all continents - Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas! Such groups are the symptom, rather than the cause, of instability.”

In Kano, Nigeria, a town that has borne the brunt of much of Boko Haram's violence, Rev. Ransom Bello of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kano state chapter, says that the activities of Boko Haram are “not religious. It’s the aggrieved people, disguised under the aegis of religion to cause insecurity in the country.”

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