Tag: Chibok

Nigeria schoolgirl missing from Chibok ‘found with baby’

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Boko Haram uses the schoolgirls it holds in propaganda videos

One of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria has been found with a 10-month-old baby son, the military says.

The girl was discovered in Pulka in northern Borno state, spokesman Sani Usman said.

The announcement came nearly a month after another 21 Chibok girls were freed after negotiations with Boko Haram Islamist militants.

More than 270 schoolgirls were seized from the north-eastern town in April 2014, sparking international outrage.

Mr Usman said the latest girl to be found was discovered by soldiers screening escapees from Boko Haram’s base in the Sambisa forest.

Boko Haram has been fighting a long insurgency in its quest for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. The conflict is estimated to have killed more than 30,000 people.

Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of other people during its seven-year insurgency in northern Nigeria and many people have been made homeless.

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The freeing of 21 girls in October came after talks mediated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Swiss government.

Until then, there had only been one confirmed release of a student kidnapped from Chibok – a 19-year-old woman found by an army-backed vigilante group.
More than 50 managed to escape on the day they were captured.

Officials have promised to find the remaining 200 still being held.

Source: BBC News



Boko Haram Launches Targeted Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Boko Haram insurgents killed at least eight Christians in an attack on Kwamjilari village, located in Nigeria’s turbulent northeastern state of Borno. According to reports, the Christians were killed while returning home from church on Sunday, September 18, suggesting that Boko Haram targeted these individuals because of their Christian faith.

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Nigerian soldier, pictured in 2015, manning a checkpoint in Gwoza, Nigeria (AP)

Boko Haram insurgents first attacked Kwamjilari by firing randomly into a crowd of Christians leaving church, reportedly killing eight. The insurgents then burned a pile of newly harvested maize, effectively ruining the villagers’ harvest.

The Kwamjilari attack aligns with a new Boko Haram strategy announced by Abu Musab al-Barnawi in August. In that announcement, which was published in the Islamic State’s Al-Naba magazine, al-Barnawi called for the destruction of Christians in Nigeria by saying Boko Haram would begin “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

“The government security forces do not go into the interior where the terrorists’ enclaves are,” Yakubu, a local resident of Kwamjilari, told ICC. “We feel we are just being deceived by the government. Our villages are still at high risk as another village was also attacked the same day.”

Due to the attack, villagers from Kwamjilari fled to Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped approximately 300 girls in 2014. The exact death toll from the attack on Kwamjilari is still unknown as some villagers remain missing. Boko Haram followed Sunday morning’s attack with an assault on a civilian commuter convoy and beheaded the chief and chief’s son in Tallari village, also located in Nigeria’s northeast, on Monday morning.

While the convoy was not explicitly Christian, its route transports civilians from the primarily Christian areas of Maiduguri to Chibok. Reports have confirmed that members of the EYN Church in Nigeria were in the convoy, but they managed to escape unharmed.

The Nigerian government has recorded notable military victories over Boko Haram recently, however, the insurgents continue to spread terror among Nigerians with an increasing number of surprise suicide bombings. The famine-like conditions in Nigeria also mitigate the government’s success against Boko Haram for many citizens. Although Boko Haram has killed more Muslims than Christians to date, al-Barnawi’s public commitment to targeting Christians appears to have shifted Boko Haram’s strategy which will continue until Boko Haram has been completely defeated.

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We are deeply concerned for the protection of our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria. With al-Barnawi’s declaration of war against Christians in Nigeria and these recent attacks, Nigerian Christians face a grim and violent future. While ICC applauds the continued military defeat of Boko Haram, we also urge the Nigerian government to take steps to protect vulnerable Christian communities. Many Christians displaced by Boko Haram are considering returning to their home villages. Unless the government can guarantee these Christians security, they will either remain in IDP camps or risk being killed in the next Boko Haram attack.”

Source: International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org.



Boko Haram crisis: ‘Huge rise’ in child suicide bombers


Boko Haram’s use of child bombers has increased over the last year with one in five suicide attacks now carried out done by children, the UN says.

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Children and women accounted for 37% of suicide attacks, Unicef said

Girls, who are often drugged, were behind three-quarters of such attacks committed by the militant Islamist group in Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad.

It is an 11-fold increase with four attacks in 2014 compared to 44 the next year, including January 2016.

The change in tactics reflects the loss of territory in Nigeria by the group.

The seven-year insurgency, which has mainly affected north-eastern Nigeria as well as its neighbours around Lake Chad, has left some 17,000 people dead.

Unicef says up to 1.3 million children have been forced from their homes across four countries: Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger.

The report from the UN children’s agency has been released as Nigeria approaches the second anniversary of the kidnapping by Boko Haram of more than 200 girls from their boarding school in the Nigerian town of Chibok.
Their abduction sparked the global campaign Bring Back Our Girls, but none of the girls have yet been found.

The Unicef report says that boys are forced to attack their own families to demonstrate their loyalty to Boko Haram, while girls are exposed to severe abuse including sexual violence and forced marriage to fighters.

The girls who are used for bombings are often drugged and then explosives are strapped to their bodies.

According to the report, Cameroon has the highest number of child suicide attacks, involving children who are as young as eight.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, has often targeted schools during its insurgency.

Unicef says more than 1,800 schools have been closed, damaged, looted, set on fire or used to shelter those left homeless in north-eastern Nigeria and Cameroon.

Over the last 15 months, most of the areas controlled by the militants have been retaken by a multi-national force and the militants are now thought to operate from hideouts in Nigeria’s Sambisa forest.

Source: BBC News



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.