Category Archives: Terrorism

Nigeria exchanges 82 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram for prisoners

Reuters: World News | Sun May 7, 2017 | 4:23pm EDT
By Felix Onuah and Ahmed Kingimi | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Members of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign rally in Nigeria's capital Abuja to mark 1,000 days since over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok by Islamist sect Boko Haram, Nigeria
Members of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign rally in Nigeria’s capital Abuja to mark 1,000 days since over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok by Islamist sect Boko Haram, Nigeria January 8, 2017. (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

ABUJA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria | Boko Haram militants have released 82 schoolgirls out of a group of more than 200 whom they kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok three years ago in exchange for prisoners, the presidency said on Saturday.

Around 270 girls were kidnapped in April 2014 by the Islamist militant group, which has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.

Dozens escaped in the initial melee, but more than 200 remained missing for more than two years.

Nigeria thanked Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for helping secure the release of the 82 girls after “lengthy negotiations,” the presidency said in a statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari will receive the girls on Sunday afternoon in the capital Abuja, it said, without saying how many Boko Haram suspects had been exchanged or disclosing other details.

A military source said the girls were brought on Sunday morning from Banki near the Cameroon border to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state where the insurgency started.

The release of the girls may give a boost to Buhari who has hardly appeared in public since returning from Britain in March for treatment of an unspecified illness.

He made crushing the insurgency a pillar of his election campaign in 2015.

The army has retaken most of the territory initially lost to the militants but attacks and suicide bombings by the group have made it nearly impossible for displaced persons to return to their recaptured hometowns.

“The President directed the security agencies to continue in earnest until all the Chibok girls have been released and reunited with their families,” the presidency said.

INSECURITY
More than 20 girls were released last October in a deal brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Others have escaped or been rescued, but 195 were believed to be still in captivity.

Buhari said last month that the government was in talks to secure the release of the remaining captives.

Related Coverage

‘Welcome our dear girls’, Nigeria’s Buhari tells freed Chibok girls

Although the Chibok girls are the most high-profile case, Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of adults and children, many of whose cases have been neglected.

Although the army has retaken much of the territory initially lost to Boko Haram, large parts of the northeast, particularly in Borno state, remain under threat from the militants. Suicide bombings and gun attacks have increased in the region since the end of the rainy season late last year.

Some 4.7 million people in northeast Nigeria depend on food aid, some of which is blocked by militant attacks, some held up by a lack of funding and some, diplomats say, stolen before it can reach those in need.

Millions of Nigerians may soon be in peril if the situation deteriorates, as authorities expect, when the five-month rainy season begins in May and makes farming impossible in areas that are now accessible.

This part of Nigeria is the western edge of an arc of hunger stretching across the breadth of Africa through South Sudan, Somalia and into Yemen on the Arabian peninsula. The United Nations believes as many as 20 million people are in danger in what could become the world’s worst famine for decades.

(Additional reporting by Tife Owolabi and Ulf Laessing; editing by Angus MacSwan and Jason Neely)

The only way to end terrorism is to address its causes and uphold the law

Refugees at the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya. AFP FILE PHOTO
Refugees at the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya. AFP FILE PHOTO

News reports state that work on building the 700-kilometre wall between Kenya and Somalia has started. There has been no public procurement, as required, so we don’t know its cost.

Now remember that suspect procurements have landed many people on the famous anti-corruption list. Will it now be updated to include the public officers who have authorized these works, which started with the digging of ditches in Kiunga, Lamu? Continue reading The only way to end terrorism is to address its causes and uphold the law

Nigerian cardinal supports offer of amnesty to Boko Haram insurgents

Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

ABUJA, Nigeria (CNS) — Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja supported Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposal to offer amnesty for any Boko Haram militants who stop fighting and embrace peace.

In a June 3 letter, Cardinal Onaiyekan said any amnesty arrangement must be undertaken with the goal of reconciliation among the government, militants and victims of violence.

The letter was the fifth the cardinal sent from Rome to Nigeria to address violence in his country. The cardinal said he is in Rome tending to church-related business.

A day later, the Administrative Board of the Nigerian bishops’ conference called for six months of prayer for peace in response to the violence that has rocked much of Africa’s most-populous nation. The bishops outlined a series of prayerful actions that individuals, clergy, religious and parishes can take from July through December.

Cardinal Onaiyekan wrote that offering amnesty “is a great challenge, which calls for a lot of commitment, sincerity and consistency on the part of government and its agents.” Continue reading Nigerian cardinal supports offer of amnesty to Boko Haram insurgents

Kenya orders all refugees into designated camps

East African

Sunday’s attack, in the Likoni district near Mombasa, came amid heightened warnings of a threat of Islamist violence in Kenya despite boosted security in major cities.
• Dadaab, where people often live in appalling conditions, is home to more than 400,000 mainly Somali refugees.
• Kakuma, a vast desert settlement, is home to more than 125,000 refugees from across the region, including Somalia.

Internal security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku flanked by other Security officials. Photo/EVANS HABIL
Internal security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku flanked by other Security officials. Photo/EVANS HABIL

Internal security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku flanked by other Security officials. Photo/EVANS HABIL
Kenya on Tuesday restricted all refugees on its soil to two designated camps in the wake of a weekend attack on a church near Mombasa that claimed six lives.

Kenyans were asked to report any refugees or illegal immigrants outside the overcrowded camps – Dadaab in the east and Kakuma in the northwest – to the police. Continue reading Kenya orders all refugees into designated camps

Nigeria Has Been Stumbling In Its Fight Against Boko Haram

Think Progress

By Will Freeman
Nigeria Boko Haram
Nigeria’s Nigeria’s chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh, talks to the press during a protest against the government’s failure to rescue the nearly 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram CREDIT: AP

On Wednesday, militants disguised as members of the Nigerian army believed to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group [ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27690687 ]attacked a church in the northeastern state of Borno, killing dozens. Witnesses report they also [ http://time.com/2822471/witnesses-boko-haram-seizing-villages-in-nigeria/ ]captured three villages near the border with Cameroon. This violent episode is part of an ongoing string of terrorist attacks throughout northern Nigeria that, despite receiving [ http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/05/21/3440261/obama-military-nigeria/ ]U.S. support, the Nigerian government is struggling to address. Continue reading Nigeria Has Been Stumbling In Its Fight Against Boko Haram

UN committee imposes sanctions on Nigeria’s Boko Haram

BBC
Recommended by Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN

The important thing is to attack the problem, and that is terrorism” – U Joy Ogwu Nigerian permanent representative to the UN

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram commander
Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram commander

Under the command of Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks
The UN Security Council has approved sanctions against the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, five weeks after it kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.

It will now be added to a list of al-Qaeda-linked organisations subject to an arms embargo and asset freeze.

US envoy Samantha Power said it was an “important step” in support of efforts to “defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable”.

Analysts say it is hard to say what practical effect the move will have.

Boko Haram was earlier blamed for the deaths of 27 people in a north-eastern village.

Residents said gunmen had shot dead farm workers in Chikongudo, set fire to nearly all the homes there and stolen food in an attack on Wednesday night. The assailants stormed the village in cars and motorbikes, a trademark of Boko Haram, the residents added.

Continue reading UN committee imposes sanctions on Nigeria’s Boko Haram

A Jihadist’s Face Taunts Nigeria From the Shadows

New York Times
By ADAM NOSSITE

Recommended by Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN

Nigerian children studying the Quran in the area where Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, was once educated.  Credit Benedicte Kurzen for The New York Times
Nigerian children studying the Quran in the area where Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, was once educated. Credit Benedicte Kurzen for The New York Times

Nigerian children studying the Quran in the area where Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, was once educated. Credit Benedicte Kurzen for The New York Times
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — He was the quiet one who walked silently to meet fellow disciples in a house by the railroad tracks, declining to greet other men on the street. But when he became agitated — over taking up arms against the government, or about his hatred of Christians and Jews — it was no use arguing with Abubakar Shekau.

A junior disciple who did so discovered the cost: Locked in his room by Mr. Shekau for a week with no food or water in the 100-degree heat, he barely survived. And on torrid evenings here in Maiduguri, Mr. Shekau’s antigovernment harangues resounded through the dusty streets.

Continue reading A Jihadist’s Face Taunts Nigeria From the Shadows