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This Happened

This Happened—November 28: What Boko Haram Has Wrought

The heartwrenching photograph of innocent farmers' bodies wrapped after being slaughtered during the Koshebe Massacre by Boko Haram would be an image burned into peoples minds.

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What was the Koshebe Massacre?

On November 27, 2020, a member of Boko Haram demanded that a group of farmers working in a rice paddy in northern Nigeria give him food. The farmers knew the risks of working in an area where Boko Haram still operated, but many of them faced death by starvation in their homes, so they had little choice.

Some of the farmers were preparing food for the insurgent, when a group of others began to attack him. The farmers overpowered the Boko Haram gunman and ultimately were able to restrain him and call to have him arrested.

The following day, a swarm of assailants descended upon the rice fields on motorcycles, tying up the farmers and slitting their throats. As many as 110 were killed, and many more were injured in an attempt by Boko Haram to send a message to those who cooperate with Nigerian authorities.

What is Boko Haram?

The Islamic extremist group known as Boko Haram has terrorized parts of Nigeria and other countries neighbors for years, carrying out suicide bombings, shootings, abductions, massacres, and executions, often of civilians and schoolchildren. The Nigerian government waged an ongoing war against insurgent groups like Boko Haram while they continued to lay waste to the Northern part of the country. Despite being “technically defeated” in 2019, according to Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari, Boko Haram was able to commit the massacre.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Paris-Berlin, Warsaw-Kyiv: Europe's Balance Of Power Will Never Be The Same

A new future is unfolding in real time, one that leaders in France, Germany and beyond could not have envisioned even a year ago.

Photo of Bundeswehr soldiers in Lest, Slovakia, with a training anti-tank missile and a G22 sniper rifle.

Bundeswehr soldiers in Lest, Slovakia, with a training anti-tank missile and a G22 sniper rifle.

Kay Nietfeld/dpa via ZUMA
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Quick question: do you know which country is on its way to having the largest army in Europe? The obvious answer would be France, the Continent's only nuclear power since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and a military that has been tested in multiple foreign operations in recent years.

But the answer is about to change: if we put aside the nuclear factor, Europe's leading military will soon be that of Poland.

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This is one more direct consequence Russia's invasion of Ukraine: a close neighbor of the conflict zone, Poland is investing massively in its defense. Last year, it concluded a huge arms purchase contract with South Korea: heavy combat tanks (four times more than France), artillery, fighter jets, for 15 billion euros.

Warsaw also signed a contract last month to purchase two observation satellites from France for 500 million euros.

This former country of the Warsaw Pact, today a leading NATO member, intends to be ever more consequential in European affairs. The investments in defense are one way of doing that. Yet this is not the only impact of the war in Ukraine.

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