The tragedy we’ve ignored 372



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There is a country suffering right now and most of us don’t know why. The world’s 7th most populous country has lost 2,000 lives this month in one of the most devastating massacres of all time and yet, nothing.

We have stayed silent and we have not done anything.

So the question is being asked, do all lives matter? Are the lives of those in Western countries seen as more important than those in poorer, developing countries? It appears that way given that a terrorist attack in Nigeria on January 3 went by without barely a whisper, yet the Charlie Hebdo attack in France, that resulted in the deaths of 17, was highly-publicised and on every news channel in the world.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram landed in Baga, Nigeria on January 3 and overran a military base before killing thousands of civilians – estimated at 2,000. Women, children and the elderly barely had time to flee before they were mercilessly slain. Elsewhere in Nigeria, a bomb strapped to a 10-year-old killed 20 at a market on Saturday.

But why was this tragedy not broadcast here in Australia? Shouldn’t world news, no matter where it’s from, be equally as important? Are we guilty of ignoring things that we are not comfortable with? Is the suffering in Africa too great that we choose to turn a blind eye?

According to Amnesty International, there is widespread destruction in the large African nation, with about 3,700 structures damaged or destroyed. This has been overshadowed by focus on Charlie Hebdo and it makes one wonder, is this because Africa’s long history of human tragedy makes us disconnect, and, as awful as it sounds, become numb to more issues that plague the already struggling continent, particularly after the Ebola crisis?

Or is this because we feel more connected to the Charlie Hebdo staff? They were white, they had jobs like us, they even had Australian partners. Satirical cartoonists who were exercising their right to free expression die as martyrs and we hold that liberty close to our hearts. But is that a double standard? We also go out shopping or leave our home and yet some in Nigeria left home the other day never to return and we feel so far away from that.

Is it really humane to write off a part of the world, no matter where it is or what the people look like? Should we demand our media has more even coverage of world events or is it okay because there’s always going to be something bad happening in Africa?


Tell us your thoughts today.

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  1. It was barely broadcast so it was a matter of not being aware rather than ignoring it. The reason? Political expediency.

    1 REPLY
    • The main stream media were aware of the massacre but there was more political mileage in the Paris massacre and the hostage taking there. NEVER get in the way of the dollar.

  2. The terrorists want media coverage! By the way, Australia is NOT the fix everything for every other country in the world. There is plenty to be fixed here in Australia before we start fixing all Africa.

    8 REPLY
    • Nothing to do with fixing it. Showing compassion and concern should be a priority on everyone’s agenda and keeping silent shows our hearts are as cold and unemotional as these murderers. They also strapped a huge bomb to a ten year old girl and sent her off so that she was blow apart. If that was one of our granddaughters there’d be hell to pay!

    • These people are the worst kind in the world they have no respect for their own kind why would they have any respect for any one else I just want them to stay out of our country no one can stop them so let’s keep them out of Aussie

    • When compared with the needs of so many people in Africa there is almost nothing to be fixed in Oz … except perhaps the lack of compassion and understanding.

    • Jenny Young australia is quite happy to purchase missiles from USA and then bombing other countries on behalf of USA….The root of most of the problems in African countries is 200+ years of colonialism. Sadly your comments: ” These people are the worst kind ..” are the reflection of that attitude. Australia continues to be involved in USA?NATO instigated wars and killing innocent people. I do not believe that that is respecting anyone.

    • Paul Clarke, the media are to report the truth and for way too long they have not been doing their job. No one has asked Australia to fix anything in Africa, but as human beings we should be jumping to help other humans. Your comments leave me cold. It’s people like you, who only care for your self that is the problem within our planet. Greed and self importance has taken away from love.

    • How come no one talks about the huge elephant in the room, the weapons industry that through channels they are well aware of, sell all the weapons and ammunition to commit all the recent attrocities?

    • Everyone is so quick to blame someone, be it colonialism, be it religion, be it economic problems, but how come all these economically challenged countries seem to allways find the money for any kind of weapon. The money is there on all sides of the conflict.

  3. I am horrified that we only hear what the media want us to hear. This massacre is sad and disturbing. The rest of the world should be helpiing these poor people but no we go about our daily lives with total ignorance.

    1 REPLY
    • Agreed, Colleen……but like Australian Politics, we only get to see what Rupert wants us to see……

      1 REPLY
      • then do something about it.. there are alternatives to Rupert. You might even go onto the internet and listen to Russia Today.

  4. There are just so many tragedies world wide, can’t keep up with them all. Another one very close to us in West Papua, where the Indonesians are killing the indigenous people to make way for their own people also giving them access to the lucrative resources of that region. No one possibly knows about that one. What to do, I am sure I don’t. The UN don’t appear to be doing much of anything at all, why we pay them the big buck is a travesty, but they do look nice in their extremely expensive suits. I had heard of the tragedy you have based your article on.

    7 REPLY
    • They’ve been doing that for years Gail..the big boys will only notice and take action if there’s money in it for them imo. They don’t care about us, so why would they care about PNG or Nigeria.

    • The UN has become ineffective in the past 10 years, most notably in the Security Council. Its biggest contributor is the USA, & does its bidding, imo.

    • Indonesia would be using that as an eventual stepping stone to try and take us over. I know someone who went to Indonesia several years ago and saw maps that showed Indonesia and her Territories extended half way down Australia to the Tropic of Capricorn.

    • No separate country should enter into another country,s problems but that does not mean that we don’t care that is why concerned countries formed the United Nations but is does nothing and everyone expects America to fix the world and its problems. United Nations need to get real with these sad acts, that horrible people are doing sometimes to their own people. No one person or country can fix this that is why we formed the UN and now fund it

  5. It is only regarded as news when it is a variation on the norm. Violence, starvation and terrorist attacks are so commonplace in many places that to a sensationalist media they cease to be newsworthy. It is laziness too in the western world the media machines are all there with lots of sensational footage, so there is no need to send news teams out into the field. Australia is a country of ex Europeans predominately so what happens in our mother or father lands is of more interest as it feels closer to home.

    1 REPLY
  6. It hasn’t been ignored. It’s been all over the news, all over the net, and deliberately reported as ” why are we ignoring this?” Manipulative journalism at its worst.

  7. Well they don’t have oil in Nigeria so who cares really. We wouldn’t be in Iraq either but for the oil.
    Western Govts. Only see their own people as taxpayers, a source of income, they don’t care about us so why would anyone expect them to care about people in a country that can give them nothing. We know for a fact right here in Australia once you’ve stopped paying taxes the government wants nothing to do with you. So ignoring this just seems par for the course.

    Nigeria might be very lucky the west doesn’t care about them. Terrorists need and want their message broadcast, they need to create fear. It didn’t work for them in Nigeria so maybe they will leave those people alone.

    9 REPLY
    • ok I stand corrected but it could have just as easily been my spelling mistake, I am a terrible speller..I removed it..sorry Henry

    • Won’t matter who got oil who hasn’t its about putting bodies in the ground… De populating…. Kill kill kill kill…. Words not going to save any of us…. FEMA camps built all over the world every where in USA …..

    • I care ! Whether it be 2000 or just 2, it is still a terrible tragedy.No country in the world is safe from these monsters who have no value whatsoever on human life. I did hear about the Nigeria massacre but have to admit there was far more coverage of the Paris attack. There was also a lot of media coverage of the Martin Place, Sydney drama, too , but this was quickly forgotten (by the media) when the Paris attacks occurred. Reporters are only interested in the next good story.

    • You’re right Henry, Nigeria does have oil. What I should’ve said is there is no oil in Nigeria for the US.

  8. Yes, this is awful – but how does it benefit us to know of every such incident really? We know these atrocities happen regularly around the world, but we can’t save everyone unfortunately. If you need or want to know everything that is happening then organisations such as Amnesty International can keep you updated, and will gladly accept your assistance if you feel the need to help.

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