Fact Check

Nigerian Women Who Repulsed a Boko Haram Attack

Rumor: Photograph shows Nigerian teachers and security guards armed with automatic weapons to protect students from Boko Haram militants.

Published Jan 5, 2015

Claim:   Photograph shows Nigerian teachers and security guards armed with automatic weapons to protect students from Boko Haram militants.


REAL PHOTOGRAPH; INACCURATE DESCRIPTION


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, January 2015]

Nigerian women who repulsed a Boko Haram attack, kudos to these gutsy bravehearts.




 

Origins:   Boko Haram (a term roughly translated as "Western education is forbidden") is a terrorist Islamist movement that has killed an estimated 5,000 civilans, mostly in northern and central Nigeria, since 2009. The photograph displayed above has been circulated with
captions describing it as depicting "Nigerian women who repulsed a Boko Haram attack, kudos to these gutsy bravehearts," and it was posted to the Facebook page of HSGCA (Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates) on 20 January 2015 along with text identifying it as a picture of teachers and security guards armed with automatic weapons to protect students from Boko Haram militants:



So what is your take on this one?

Should these teachers and security guards get some #gunsense and turn in their evil military grade assault-o-matic weapons and mega capacity clipazine to the police and simply hope that the next time Boko Haram drops in that the cops get there in time

OR

Continue face shooting the psycho mutts who try to hard them & their students


(The mention of Spaghetti-Os is a reference to a plan implemented at some American schools encouraging students to bring canned goods to school to hurl at intruders in case of a classroom invasion.)

Although the photograph is real (and somewhat in the spirit of what has been claimed of it), it is not related to Boko Haram, Nigeria, or armed teachers protecting students. The image was originally published in the Times of London on 23 November 2012 and accompanied an article ("Women are bent on revenge against Tuareg rebels in Mali") by correspondent Jerome Starkey about women in Mali joining the Ganda Koy militia (a pro-government paramilitary force) in order to seek revenge for relatives killed or raped by Tuareg rebels:



Armed men stopped the bus at Timbuktu's river port and dragged two women and a teenage girl behind a nearby dune. "They took turns," said Barka Dicko, scowling as she slung a Kalashnikov over her embroidered smock. "One of them pointed his gun at me, while the other one raped my niece. She was 13. She was a virgin, but they forced themselves on her."

The attack came as separatist Tuareg rebels seized control of northern Mali. "She screamed until she fell unconscious," Ms Dicko said. She and another woman were left unharmed but sick with guilt and burning for revenge.

Now, as her niece recovers with relatives in the capital, Bamako, Ms Dicko is leading a group of 42 women bent on retribution. They are part of the Ganda Koy militia, a

pro-government paramilitary force, roughly 800 strong and drawn mostly on ethnic lines. "We do everything the men do," she said, as young women marched by singing army songs and men staged a mock assault. "We also take care of the food."

Ms Dicko said that the men who raped her niece were fair-skinned Tuareg nomads wearing the uniforms of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). Most men and women in the Ganda Koy are dark-skinned ethnic Songhais and Fulani, all hungry for vengeance against the white Tuaregs from the north.

Zeinab Maiga, a 22-year-old Arabic student from Gao, dreamt of being a primary school teacher before she fled her home five months ago. "I have a message for the MNLA and all the other groups in the north," she said. "Even if there are negotiations, even if everybody agrees a peace, if I get my hands on one of them I won't just slit their throat, I will chop their head off."

Fatima Toure, a former disc jockey from Gao, said that the rebels killed her brother and raped two of her young neighbours. "I just want to go back home," she said. "But if we make peace now these problems will come back. We must have combat first."


Last updated:   4 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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