Nigeria: Boko Haram not to free abducted schoolgirls

November 8, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

NigeriaNigeria, November 6, 2014: On Friday (31 October) the leader of Islamist group Boko Haram announced that more than 200 mainly Christian schoolgirls abducted by the group from Chibok, in Borno state, Nigeria on the night of 14-15 April will not be freed, as they have converted to Islam and have been married off.

In a video, Abubakar Shekau confirmed that the abducted girls are in various “marital homes” and denied that Boko Haram has agreed to a ceasefire, despite the Nigerian government’s claim on 17 October that it has reached an agreement with the Islamist militants.

Kidnappings and violent attacks by the brutal group have continued. On 18 October, Boko Haram abducted 60 young women and girls from the Christian villages of Wagga and Gwarta in Adamawa state – only a day after the Nigerian government declared the supposed ceasefire. The militants left 1,500 naira (£5.67; $9.04; €7.22) and kola nuts as a bride price for each girl seized. It is thought that those kidnapped will be used as sex slaves.

Elsewhere, Boko Haram overran Uba town in Borno state and the commercial town of Mubi, in Adamawa state, on 29 October, forcing thousands of people to flee from their homes. The militant group used various types of weapons during the siege, including rocket-propelled grenades.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) uncovered the heinous conditions enforced by Boko Haram on its captives. Those who had escaped abduction recounted horrendous suffering including forced labour and military participation, forced conversions, forced marriages and rape. Many of those interviewed showed signs of post-traumatic stress and anguish.

According to HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust), an estimated 1,800 individuals are thought to have been abducted by Boko Haram before the girls from Chibok were taken this April and at least 91 boys and girls have been abducted since. The HRW report revealed that 90% of Boko Haram’s kidnap victims are Christians.

– barnabas team

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