Tag: #BringBackOurGirls

Nigeria Boko Haram crisis: Army rescues 178 people

The Nigerian military says it has rescued 178 people from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northern Borno state.

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The army has made gains against the militants in recent months

In a statement released on Sunday, it said that 101 of those freed were children and a further 67 were women. The statement did not say if the girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014 were among them.

The military also says that a Boko Haram commander was captured and several camps were cleared.

Boko Haram has killed some 5,500 civilians in Nigeria since 2014.

More than 200 of the Chibok girls are still missing, more than a year after they were kidnapped from their school in northern Nigeria.

Last October, the government said it had secured an agreement for a ceasefire and the release of the girls taken from Chibok, but Boko Haram subsequently denied this.

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Parents of the Chibok girls have been campaigning for their release for more than a year

The abduction of the girls in Chibok sparked global outrage with many joining a campaign online to free them using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Several nations including the US and China vowed to help find them and there have been reported sightings of the girls, but none has been found to date.

At least 2,000 women and girls abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014, according to the human rights organisation Amnesty International.

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Boko Haram’s insurgency, and the army campaign against it, have killed more than 15,500 people since 2012. The violence has recently spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Source: BBC



Chibok Kidnapped Girls – One Year On

It’s one year ago today, 14 April, since 276 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Although a number managed to escape, it’s believed that 219 girls are still in captivity.

The abduction of the girls sparked global outrage. As well as a mass following on social media, the #bringbackourgirls campaign has received support from high profile international politicians and celebrities.

Ceremonies are due to be staged today in various cities around the world to mark the anniversary and appeal for more to be done to find the girls. A procession is being held in the capital, Abuja, with 219 girls taking part to represent each missing girl.

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According to an Amnesty International report, Boko Haram has abducted at least 2000 women and girls since the start of 2014, forcing them into sexual slavery and in some cases they have been trained to use bombs and shoot guns and have even been forced to carry out attacks on their own villages. In some cases it is suspected that children as young as ten years old have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombing attacks.

Friends In The West founder and CEO, Ray Barnett, has today made a fresh appeal to the Christian community to pray. We understand the pain that the relatives and friends of the girls are going through and so we’re careful not to come out with glib statements or to marginalise the suffering that some are going through. But we must do what is ‘right’ in God’s eyes, even if we don’t understand or even when the circumstances make us feel like giving up.

1 Peter 3:12 tells us:

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Things may not have happened as quickly as we would have liked, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. And it doesn’t change the fact that God is a ‘just’ God and ultimately good will triumph over evil.

Time and time again in my life I have encountered situations that looked hopeless, particularly in relation to Christians being imprisoned for their faith or facing suffering in some way. Sometimes it was almost at the point when we were ready to give up, but as we earnestly prayed, miracles took place and very negative situations were turned around and we rejoiced and gave thanks to God who answers prayer.

So let’s keep on praying. Let’s keep on believing. To those who are suffering – there are many more people who love you, pray for you and want to bless you than those who want to harm you. God will be with you in your pain if you look to Him and His ears will be attentive to your prayer.

To Christians worldwide – please pray that the Chibok girls will be soon be reunited with their families and that all their relatives and friends will know God’s peace and comfort as they face this challenge. Please pray for the new government in Nigeria, that the country will experience reconciliation between Christians and Muslims and that peace and prosperity will be theirs.

Thank you and God Bless!

Ray Barnett



Nobel Laureate Message for Chibok Girls

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has said that Nigerian leaders and the international community have still “not done enough” to ensure the release of the more than 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok in north-east Nigeria.

In an emotional message to the kidnapped girls recorded on the eve of the first anniversary of their abduction by Boko Haram, the education campaigner said the world “must do much more to help”._82278424_022182779-1



The man who talks to Boko Haram

One year after the kidnaping of 232 Nigerian girls, Australian Stephen Davis still says his contacts indicate government complicity.

A year ago April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 275 girls from the government secondary school in the Christian-dominated town of Chibok, Borno State.

Students reported to the Chibok Government Secondary Boarding School on Sunday, April 13, to take an exam on Tuesday morning, April 15, despite the fact that the government had closed schools across the state because it could not offer protection. At about 11pm armed Boko Haram insurgents broke into the school. They burned the administration block and classrooms. Dressed in military uniforms, they told the girls that Chibok was under attack but that they were there to protect them. The girls believed them and obeyed their orders to mount the vehicles outside. Forty three girls escaped, some during the attack at the school; others during the journey to a camp in the Sambisa forest, where the captive girls were initially kept.

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A truck promotes the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign used by protesters of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping  Photo: Wikimedia CC

One year on, the 232 girls taken that night from Chibok remain in rebel custody. It is not clear where they are being held or what circumstances they had been facing this past year. The first of the babies born to the girls since their captivity arrived in mid-February this year. Four girls who managed to escape after their arrival at the Boko Haram camp reported that they were raped almost on a daily basis. They said those who did not cooperate with the rebels faced severe punishment. Some other girls who were captured before the Chibok girls, and who managed to escape after varying time in captivity, said some girls were killed because they would not renounce their Christian faith.  



Kidnapped Chibok girls – News update

In this report, CBN News cameras travel to Nigeria, and speak with relatives and friends of the 219 girls from Chibok, who continue to be held captive by Boko Haram. A year ago next month, fighters kidnapped 276 girls, mostly Christian, from their school in Chibok. Fifty-seven escaped, but 219 are still being held. The girls’ abduction drew global protests and launched the Twitter hash tag campaign #BringBackOurGirls. But as time passes, there is a grave danger of the plight of the girls being forgotten. We at Friends In The West, along with CBN and many other groups and organisations around the world, want to encourage people to continue to pray for the release of these girls. 

Please visit our Home page on this site to read about how this Chibok incident inspired our founder to re-launch the prayer bracelet campaign.