Posts Tagged ‘Maiduguri’

4 killed in suspected Boko Haram extremist attack in Nigeria

June 23, 2018

Police say four people have been killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram extremists in northern Nigeria.

A member of a civilian self-defense group, Maina Shettima, tells The Associated Press that the bodies were found Saturday morning in Tungushe village just outside Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and the birthplace of Boko Haram. He says six people were injured and homes and vehicles were burned.

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File Photo

The Borno State police spokesman says gunmen attacked, but resident Umar Ibrahim says a suicide bomber detonated his explosives shortly after midnight near people sleeping outside their homes in the heat.

Nigeria more than once has claimed victory over Boko Haram but the group continues to carry out suicide bombings and kidnappings in the region.

The Associated Press

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Boko Haram: Suicide Bombs Kill 31 in Nigeria

June 17, 2018

Suspected Boko Haram jihadists killed at least 31 people in a twin suicide bomb attack on a town in northeast Nigeria, a local official and a militia leader told AFP on Sunday.

Two blasts ripped through the town of Damboa in Borno state on Saturday evening targeting people returning from celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, in an attack bearing all the hallmarks of Boko Haram.

Following the suicide bombings, the jihadists fired rocket-propelled grenades into the crowds that had gathered at the scene of the attacks, driving the number of casualties higher.

“There were two suicide attacks and rocket-propelled grenade explosions in Damboa last night which killed 31 people and left several others injured,” said local militia leader Babakura Kolo.

Two suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Shuwari and nearby Abachari neighbourhoods in the town around 10:45 pm (2145GMT), killing six residents, said Kolo, speaking from the state capital Maiduguri, which is 88 kilometres (55 miles) from the town.

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FILE photo

“No one needs to be told this is the work of Boko Haram,” Kolo said.

A local government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the death toll.

“The latest death toll is now 31 but it may increase because many among the injured may not survive,” said the official.

“Most of the casualties were from the rocket projectiles fired from outside the town minutes after two suicide bombers attacked,” he said.

The attack is the latest example of Boko Haram’s continued threat to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, said Ryan Cummings, Africa analyst at the Signal Risk consultancy in South Africa.

“Boko Haram still maintains both the intent and operational capacity to launch mass casualty attacks in parts of northeastern Nigeria,” Cummings said, despite the government’s repeated claims that the group is on the back foot.

The use of the rockets is “particularly conspicuous,” Cummings said, as it “indicates that the sect continues to have access to military-grade weaponry.”

“The Boko Haram insurgency is not showing any immediate signs of” easing, said Cummings.

– Suicide bombings –

The jihadist group has regularly deployed suicide bombers — many of them young girls — in mosques, markets and camps housing people displaced by the nine-year insurgency.

On May 1 at least 86 people were killed in twin suicide blasts targeting a mosque and a nearby market in the town of Mubi in neighbouring Adamawa state.

The attacks have devastated Nigeria’s northeast, one of the country’s poorest regions where illiteracy and unemployment are rampant.

Seeking purpose and money, disillusioned and jobless young men have turned to the radical Islam of Boko Haram, which decries Western colonialism and the modern Nigerian state.

In their quest to carve out a caliphate, the jihadists have razed towns to the ground, kidnapped women and children and slaughtered thousands of others, putting many more on the brink of starvation.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015 vowing to stamp out Boko Haram but the jihadists continue to stage frequent attacks, targeting both civilians and security forces.

The militants stormed the Government Girls Technical College in Dapchi on February 19, seizing over 100 schoolgirls in a carbon copy of the abduction in Chibok in 2014 that caused global outrage.

The deadly violence has put Buhari under pressure as elections approach in February next year.

Along with Boko Haram, Buhari faces the continued threat of militants in the oil-rich south, separatists in the southeast and an upsurge in communal violence in the country’s central region.

Injured men in hospital after a suicide bomber attack in northeastern Nigeria last month, with another 31 killed late Saturday in a similar attack suspected to be the work of Boko Haram jihadists.

AFP
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Air Force fighter jets kill many Boko Haram terrorists in Borno

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/06/air-force-fighter-jets-kill-many-boko-haram-terrorists-borno/

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Amnesty accuses Nigerian troops of raping women rescued from Boko Haram

May 26, 2018

Displaced women in a camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria's Borno State on 22 February 2018.

Story highlights

  • Amnesty International: Five women allegedly raped by soldiers in Bama displacement camp between 2014 and 2015
  • Nigerian military says it hasn’t deployed troops to displacement camps

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — Women and girls who have fled terrorist group Boko Haram are being raped by Nigerian soldiers, starved and forced to exchange food for sex, according to claims in a new report by human rights group Amnesty International.

Thousands of these women have died because of lack of food in camps for internally displaced people in Nigeria’s northeast after they were rescued from Boko Haram, Amnesty says.
In the report titled “They betrayed us,” it is alleged that five women said they were raped by soldiers in late 2015 and early 2016 in a displacement camp in Bama, Borno state.

‘Boko Haram wives’

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Women interviewed by Amnesty said they were beaten and called “Boko Haram wives” by security officials whenever they complained about their treatment.
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The report says that members of the Nigerian military and a local vigilante group Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) “separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote ‘satellite camps’ where they were raped, sometimes in exchange for food.”
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Muhammadu Buhari — Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari was the first president from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Donald Trump’s White House

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

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Ten women in the Bama camp told Amnesty they were forced to date security officials to get food. One woman said a member of the JTF vigilante group raped her after he brought her food, telling her: “I gave you these things, if you want them, we have to be husband and wife.”
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“Sex in these highly coercive circumstances is always rape, even when physical force is not used, and Nigerian soldiers and civilian JTF members have been getting away it,” Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria said.
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“They act like they don’t risk sanction, but the perpetrators and their superiors who have allowed this to go unchallenged have committed crimes under international law and must be held to account.”
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Deadly terror group

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Boko Haram, described as the third deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index, has unleashed waves of brutal attacks across parts of northern Nigeria, bombing schools, churches and mosques and kidnapping women and children in a conflict that spans nearly a decade.
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The conflict has killed thousands of people and also internally displaced two million people, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
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However, the Nigerian army claims it has technically defeated Boko Haram and retaken territories seized by the militant group in the northeast.
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Members of its troops recently rescued 1,000 hostages, mostly women and children, from the militant’s camps in Borno State, it said.
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Hundreds of women along with their children have been held in overcrowded centers in northern Nigeria since 2015.
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Amnesty said it had collected evidence that thousands of people have starved to death in displacement camps since 2015.
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In the report, the women alleged that 15 to 30 people died each day between 2015 and 2016 due to lack of food in these camps.
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The human rights group said satellite images of an expanding graveyard in one of the camps during the time confirmed their testimonies.
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In a 2016 report, another rights group, Human Rights Watch, said it had documented 43 cases of sexual violence against women by soldiers in displacement camps in northern Nigeria, forcing the Nigeria government to investigate.
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Propaganda

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Nigerian army spokesman John Agim denied the allegations in the Amnesty report, branding them “propaganda.”
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He said the army hasn’t been deployed to displacement camps, which he said are run by the police, local vigilante groups and NGOs. “I wonder where Amnesty interviewed women who said they saw soldiers in these camps hoarding food and raping women?” Agim asked.
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Agim accused the human rights group of republishing claims that had been investigated by the Nigerian government and had been found to be false.
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“Amnesty wrote the same allegations in a report in 2015 and it was investigated then and found not to be true. Why are they presenting them in 2018 after investigations? It is all propaganda and when they continue to propagate these reports, it assumes the property of truth when its not refuted,” Agim told CNN.
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“Amnesty does not want our war against terrorism to finish; the Nigerian military maintains this position,” he said. “Their reports on human right violations is to stop the selling of weapons to the Nigerian military by the American government and others and that approach is not working.”
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“The Nigerian army just rescued 1,000 Boko Haram captives, that is a good development, why is it not reflected in the report if they are being fair?” Agim added.
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Broken promises

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For it’s part, Amnesty said there has been “no tangible action to address the problem and no one appeared to have been brought to justice,” despite promises by the Nigerian government to investigate reports of alleged abuse in these camps since 2015.
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“It is absolutely shocking that people who had already suffered so much under Boko Haram have been condemned to further horrendous abuse by the Nigerian military,” Amnesty’s Ojigho, said.
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The organization called on the Nigerian government to make public the findings from a panel investigating the military’s compliance with human rights provisions set up by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.
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Many women had testified before the panel whose report was submitted to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in February, the human rights group said.
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“Now is the time for President Buhari to demonstrate his frequently expressed commitment to protect the human rights of displaced people in north-east Nigeria. The only way to end these horrific violations is by ending the climate of impunity in the region and ensuring that no one can get away with rape or murder,” Ojigho added.
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“The Nigerian authorities must investigate or make public their previous investigations on war crimes and crimes against humanity in the northeast,” she added.
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‘Lacking credibility’

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The Nigerian government told CNN the military had found cases of abuse in these camps during the period mentioned in Amnesty’s report in 2015, countering the army spokesman’s claims that the allegations were investigated and found not to be true.
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“Over this period of time, the Nigerian military had indeed established cases of abuse and punishments meted out from orderly room trials and court martials that included the losses of rank, dismissals, and trials and convictions by civil courts,” Garba Shehu, a spokesman for the president, told CNN.
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However, Shehu echoed the Army spokesman’s claims and accused Amnesty of “recycling” claims from a previous report.
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Amnesty’s report lacked “credibility, falling vehemently short of evidential narration,” from victims by failing to address mechanisms put in place by the military and the president’s panel after similar allegations were published in 2015, he said.
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The Nigerian government was committed to investigating “all documented cases of human rights abuses,” Shehu added.
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BBC News
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How Trump stirred controversy in Nigeria

  • 1 May 2018

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari became the first president from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Donald Trump’s White House on Monday. But even after they neatly avoided Mr Trump’s alleged comments about “shithole” African countries, the US president managed to stir controversy in Nigeria, writes the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.

Perhaps warning bells rang when Mr Trump started off asking Mr Buhari how he was getting on with “that Boca Haram”, a reference to militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

But then again, maybe that slip of the tongue was predictable.

Less so was what he said next, as the former reality television star weighed in on the conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt – or the way in which he would frame it.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” Mr Trump said. “We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”

‘Genocide’?

The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis – one which has a battle between nomadic cattle herders and settled farmer over access to land and grazing rights at its centre.

But perhaps it should not come as any surprise. Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.

But his point of view also plays into popular feeling among some Nigerian Christian groups.

Coffins arrive at Ibrahim Babanginda Square in the Benue State capital Makurdi, on January 11, 2018Image copyright AFP
Deadly clashes between herdsmen and farmers have raised tensions in Nigeria

It is a widely touted refrain that the conflict between farmers and herdsmen constitutes a “genocide against Christians”.

It is hard to support this claim with any fact: there have been many killings on both sides in this conflict.

But the recent attack on a Catholic church by suspected Fulani herdsmen and the murder of 17 people, including two priests, have added fuel to the flames of those who want to frame the conflict in this way.

After that attack a priest in the area told the BBC he was doing what he could do prevent young Christian men from his parish launching random reprisal attacks on Muslims. Clearly then, Mr Trump’s words then make for dangerous rhetoric.

But many Christian leaders have taken to mainstream and social media to push this narrative, jumping upon Mr Trump’s comments as a kind of vindication of their own claims.

In response, Nigerian Muslim advocacy groups have criticised his comments.

In a statement, the director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Ishaq Akintola, said they were “prejudiced, parochial and unpresidential” and claimed that Mr Trump “is luring Nigerian Christians into bolder confrontation with Muslims”.

With elections due in February 2019, there is an intensely political side to all of this. President Buhari has announced his intention to re-run for office. He is a Muslim and a Hausa-Fulani.

Much of the conversation on this crisis falls along these ethnic and political lines – Christian vs Muslim; Hausa-Fulani vs everyone else. In reality, the conflict falls along lines that are much less easily defined.

US President Donald Trump and Nigeria"s President Muhammadu Buhari take part in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.Image copyright  AFP
President Muhammadu Buhari thanked Mr Trump for inviting him to the White House

During the press conference, Mr Buhari was quick to deflect the Christian comment.

He immediately reframed the question to address a conflict between farmers and herdsmen, saying: “The problem of cattle herders is a very long historical problem. Before now, cattle herders were known to carry sticks and machetes… but these ones are carrying AK-47s.”

As he has in the past, he went on to explain what is happening as a consequence of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s arming of “mercenaries”.

Mr Buhari claimed they are now returning to West Africa and causing trouble.

Whether Gaddafi’s former soldiers are responsible for this crisis or not, there is a point to be made here. Since the crisis in Libya began, guns have been flooding into West Africa through the Sahel – just as migrants have been rushing in the other direction.

Last year, the Director of UN’s Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa said 70% of the illegal small arms imported to West Africa end up in Nigeria, according to PRI Nigeria.

But if Mr Buhari felt any exasperation at Mr Trump’s unexpected comments, it was quickly brushed under the carpet.

Despite the rhetoric which does little to promote peace in Nigeria’s central region, the two leaders came across as firm friends.

Instead, in true Trump style, the two men patted each other on the back over a recent “deal”: the sale of 12 US military aircraft to Nigeria.

And another bone of contention was artfully avoided – Mr Trump’s allegedly ungracious comments in January comparing African countries to a toilet.

While many Nigerians had hoped their president would take Mr Trump to task, Mr Buhari admitted he did not bring it up.

Instead, Mr Buhari, standing in the Rose Garden, reiterated his deep appreciation for the invitation. He seemed to shrink into the background as Mr Trump took centre stage, complimenting Nigeria as a beautiful country and professing his desire to visit Africa’s most populous state.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43964932

Boko Haram Attacks Again on Easter: 11 Killed — Is This The Answer to Nigeria’s Offer of Amnesty?

April 1, 2018

EASTER: 11 killed in BokoHaram attacks in Borno

ON APRIL 1, 20184:29 AMIN NEWS5 COMMENTS BY NDAHIMARAMA, MAIDUGURI

No fewer than four members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, four suicide bombers and three civilians were killed in separate attacks on two villages of Malumti and Muna Zawiya village, Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The incidents, according to a reliable source, took place  on  Friday  evening. In a press statement signed by  Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu,  Deputy Director, Public Relations,  Theatre Command, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, said, “the four insurgents who had been routed out of the Sambisa Forest by troops in Operation Deep Punch II,   were rummaging   for food and logistics when they met their Waterloo. “The gallant   troops recovered a Toyota Land Cruiser, one AK 47 Rifle, 15 Rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and one magazine.

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Troops also recovered 47 Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from the insurgents.

“In another development, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole deployed at a checkpoint ahead of Muna Zawiya in the outskirts of Maiduguri, yesterday, neutralised four suicide bombers comprising a male and three females. “The suicide bombers were attempting to infiltrate the Maiduguri Metropolis through Muna Zawiya area at about  9.30 pm  but were spotted by vigilant troops, who fired shots hitting one of them and thereby triggering a simultaneous explosion killing all the four bombers. “Regrettably, however, 18 persons were injured in the incident.

The wounded have been evacuated for medical attention.

Meanwhile, troops and members of   the Civilian Joint Task Force are presently   conducting cordon and search operation in the area for any other suicide bomber lurking around. But available information obtained from residents so far, revealed that the four blasts were said to be carried out by the suicide bombers leading to the killing of three civilians, apart from the 4 bombers. 18 others sustained various degrees of injuries as well as 5 sheep’s killed during the blasts. The injured persons are currently responding to treatment at specialist hospital Maiduguri.

Confirming the Muna Zawiya suicide attacks, though Contradictory to that of the military, Police Public Relations of Borno State Command, DSP Edet Okon, in a statement earlier said, “At about 2149hrs yesterday, 30/3/18 four (4) female suicide bombers infiltrated Muna Zawiya village in Mafa LGA outskirt of Maiduguri Metropolis. “They detonated the explosives killing themselves and one other person (female). Thirteen   (13) persons were injured and were taken to a hospital where they are responding to treatment.

“The Borno state police command had dispatched men to the scene including men of the CTU,   SARS and EOD to sweep the place and make the environment   safe. Normalcy has returned to the area. Meanwhile, adequate security arrangements has being emplaced for a hitch free Easter celebration. Patrol   and Monitoring Continues.” said Okon. end

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/easter-11-killed-boko-haram-attacks-borno/

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Four teen girl suicide bombers launch deadly attack in Nigeria

March 31, 2018

AFP

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© BOKO HARAM/AFP/File / by Aminu ABUBAKAR with Stephanie FINDLAY in Lagos | Abubakar Shekau, whose Boko Haram faction is notorious for suicide bombings killing civilians in Nigeria
KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Four teenage girl suicide bombers have killed two people in multiple attacks in northeast Nigeria, residents said Saturday, in the latest assault since the government announced it was in ceasefire talks with Boko Haram.The suspected Boko Haram attack took place late Friday in the northeast Borno state capital of Maiduguri, the epicentre of the group’s Islamist insurgency.

The girls, estimated to be between the ages of 13 and 18, attacked the Zawuya settlement on the outskirts of Maiduguri, killing two people, residents told AFP.

“We lost two people, a woman and a boy, in two of the four suicide explosions,” Zawuya resident Musa Haruna Isa said.

One of the bombers blew up while trying to scale a low mud wall outside a house that starting crumbling and detonated her explosive belt, killing the boy, Isa said.

“One of them exploded near an open-air mosque, injuring one person,” he said, adding that another bomber “panicked from the explosions from her colleagues and squeezed the trigger in the open, killing only herself.”

However, police said that just one person died in the attack.

“They (bombers) detonated the explosives killing themselves and one other person… 13 persons were injured and were taken to a hospital where they are responding to treatment,” Maiduguri police said in a statement.

The attack highlighted the challenge the government faces in reaching a ceasefire agreement with the fractionalised Boko Haram.

Last week, when more than 100 schoolgirls were returned to Dapchi after being kidnapped by the jihadist group, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his government was offering amnesty to “repentant” jihadists.

But senior security officials cautioned that reaching any agreement with the group will be difficult, as it is split into competing factions with different goals.

The Islamic State-affiliated faction reportedly in talks with the government is led by Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi and is known for attacks on military targets, while another faction led by Abubakar Shekau is notorious for suicide bombings killing civilians.

Zawuya, a settlement of people displaced by Boko Haram mostly from Rann, a town on the remote northeast border with Cameroon, lies close to the Muna Garage area, home to some 40,000 internally displaced people.

Both camps have been repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram attacks.

by Aminu ABUBAKAR with Stephanie FINDLAY in Lagos

Nigeria’s Buhari meets with Dapchi girls — Boko Haram expected to strike Again — Terrorism and Corruption in Africa

March 23, 2018

AFP

© AFP / by Ola Awoniyi | A total of 113 children were seized from the school in Dapchi, in northeastern Nigeria on February 19, all but two of them girls

ABUJA (AFP) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari received the released Dapchi girls on Friday in a meeting clouded by the absence of a Christian student still held by Boko Haram for refusing to convert to Islam.”We entered into negotiation solely to make sure that no single girl was hurt. This strategy paid off as the girls are being released without any incident,” Buhari said to reporters at the presidential villa in Abuja.

The girls, dressed in brightly coloured hijabs, enthusiastically sang the national anthem before posing for photos with Buhari outside in a garden.

Describing the release of the 107 youngsters — 105 schoolgirls and two young boys — as a “cheery and hearty” development, Buhari pledged to recover “every abducted citizen in Nigeria.”

“While parents of the Dapchi girls rejoice because of the reunion with their children, I want to appeal to the Chibok community never to lose hope or despair. We are determined as never before to bring back our remaining Chibok daughters,” he said.

The latest mass kidnapping from the town of Dapchi was an embarrassment for Buhari whose government has repeatedly claimed that the Boko Haram Islamist group is close to defeat.

– Dialogue ongoing –

A total of 113 children were seized from the school in Dapchi, in the northeastern state of Yobe, on February 19, all but two of them girls.

On Wednesday morning, 105 of the girls were brought back by the jihadists, who drove freely into the town in a convoy of vehicles waving the black Boko Haram flag and met by cheering residents.

“The insurgents’ only condition was their demands for a cessation of hostilities and a temporary ceasefire to enable them to return the girls (to) the point they picked them (up),” security director Lawal Daura said.

“The remaining six Dapchi girls are yet to be accounted for and dialogue on these students is still on-going,” he said.

Five girls are said to have died in the initial stages of the kidnapping, while one girl — the only Christian — is still being held, with Buhari on Friday promising to free her.

– ‘Praying for her return’ –

Leah Sharibu is still with her captors, apparently because she refused to convert to Islam.

“It is disheartening that one of the girls, Leah Sharibu, remains in captivity,” said Buhari on his official Twitter account.

“We will do everything in our power to bring Leah back safely,” he said.

“There is no news that they have seen my daughter,” Leah’s father Nata Sharibu told AFP over the phone.

“People pray that my daughter will come.”

The Dapchi kidnapping revived painful memories in Nigeria of the April 2014 abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, a town also in the northeast, which caused global outrage.

While some of the Chibok girls have been freed in exchange for ransom and the release of top Boko Haram commanders, a total of 112 remain in captivity.

Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted schools giving a so-called Western education in the mainly-Muslim region as part of an insurgency that has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009.

According to the UN children’s agency UNICEF, more than 2,296 teachers have been killed and some 1,400 schools destroyed in the wider northeast.

On Wednesday, the Borno state government announced that all boarding secondary schools outside Maiduguri and the town of Biu would be closed indefinitely with immediate effect.

Boko Haram has increasingly turned to kidnapping for ransom to raise funds for their operations in the Lake Chad region.

While a 2015 offensive launched by Buhari successfully reclaimed swathes of territory back from the jihadists in Nigeria, the group still stages deadly attacks on both military targets and civilians.

by Ola Awoniyi
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North Korea hails Nigeria for successes against Boko Haram — New Suicide Bombing Rocks Giwa Barracks

March 16, 2018

Vanguard

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded so far by the Armed Forces of Nigeria in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

The outgoing Ambassador of the DPRK, Mr Jong Yong Chol, commended the Federal Government’s efforts at decimating the power of the Boko Haram in Abuja during a farewell visit to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

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Nigerian Army

“Representing the Government of the DPRK, I will like to extend the warm congratulations about the successes you have recorded in the struggle against Boko Haram. “’Also, in the efforts by the Nigerian Government, people and Army in the fight against the insurgents. I will like to extend our support on this,” Chol said.

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The envoy thanked the Federal Government for consolidating and developing friendly and cooperative relations especially in politics, economic and culture between North Korea and Nigeria. He said the DPRK -Nigeria relations began in 1976 and pledged to continue to do everything possible to ensure that the relations between the two countries was  further strengthened as he is leaving Nigeria.

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Nigerian soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized

Chol said both Nigeria and North Korea had special relations because the two countries had good cooperation in the international arena, most importantly, in the UN. The ambassador called on the Federal Government to take full concern of the development of the future relations of the two countries.

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This, according to him was a demonstration of strong relation between the two countries. He extended the support of the DPRK to Nigeria in its role in the formation of the United Nations systems and wished Nigeria a permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the near future.

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He said he was convinced that the Nigerian Government and people, would continue to support the efforts of the Korean people for the improvement of the North-South relations. Onyeama said Nigeria was glad that North Korea would do everything possible to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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He commended Chol for his efforts in promoting relations between Nigeria and North Korea. The minister said that Nigeria looked forward to maintaining good relations with North Korea. “I think it is very important that on your side, you will do everything possible to support any process that will lead to lessening of tension and that there is peace on the Korean Peninsula,“he said.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/north-korea-hails-nigeria-successes-boko-haram/

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https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/north-korea-hails-nigeria-successes-boko-haram/

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Scores of people are feared dead, following a suicide bomb attack and multiple explosions in Maiduguri on Wednesday.  A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) told SaharaReporters that the explosions occurred at about 8.33pm in Allahkanti behind Giwa barracks area of the Borno State capital.

A rescue worker told Saharareporters that six persons were injured but the number of those killed could not be ascertained at the time of filing the report.

“We can’t yet ascertain the number of those casualties. They were many and six persons were injured. The bomber struck less than a kilometer to Giwa Barracks,” said the rescue. Saharareporters gathered that two loud explosions rang out, with some sources claiming that the came from Improvised Explosive Device on the bodies of two female suicide bombers.

http://saharareporters.com/2018/03/14/suicide-bomber-kills-scores-injures-6-maiduguri

Nigeria: Borno Closes Schools As Buhari’s Ransom Payments Sparks Fears Of More Boko Haram Abductions — How often has the Government of Nigeria Declared Victory over Boko Haram since 2009?

March 13, 2018

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In an obvious move to prevent the abduction of students by Boko Haram insurgents, Borno State Government on Monday announced the closure of all boarding schools in 25 out of its 27 local government areas.

Only Maiduguri and Biu metropolitan areas were spared in massive school closure, ThisDay newspaper has reported, quoting Borno commissioner for education, Inuwa Kubo.

The closure, the commissioner said, involved all female and male boarding schools.

This implies that boarding schools have been closed in 25 out of 27 local government areas of the state.

The closure of the schools was announced the same day President Muhammadu Buhari told visiting American Secretary of State that Nigeria prefers to have schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok and Dapchi back through negotiation, rather than using the military to rescue them.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the President told Rex Tillerson at in an audience at State House, Abuja, Monday.

He added that Nigeria was working in concert with international organizations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors.

Lawal Daura, the head of Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services had also revealed about three weeks ago that negotiation is going on with different factions of Boko Haram to free Nigerians they have been holding captive.

DSS, with the support of Switzerland and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, has been at the vanguard of Nigeria’s negotiation with Boko Haram for freedom of hostages. Nigeria has been able to get back over 100 of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents four years ago in Chibok, Borno State.

The latest of such abductees released through negotiations with Boko Haram were three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri and 10 women. The women were abducted on June 20 last year while traveling from Maiduguri to Askira Uba local government area to attend a burial. The freed lecturers were abducted while searching for oil in the Lake Chad Basin as consultants to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

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While receiving the freed abductees at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, about three weeks ago, President Buhari had said while ‘the government was fully aware of the expectations of the families of the abductees and the general public for their immediate freedom, the path to freedom for them has been a “painstaking and protracted” process.

Buhari also used the occasion to reiterate the resolve of his administration to ensure all persons abducted by the insurgents are rescued or released safely, speaking against the backdrop of the February 19 abduction of 110 girls from from Government Science and Technical Girls College, Dapchi, Yobe State: “I have since directed all security agencies to immediately ensure that every effort is directed to ensure the safety of our schools and students as well as bringing back the abducted girls to their families. “Government remains unrelenting towards rescuing all those abducted.”

Daura had also at the event told journalists that negotiating with Boko Haram was the “safest” means of rescuing the three abducted lecturers of the University of Maiduguri and 10 women from captivity.  “These negotiations took several months and the Department of State Services with the support of the external elements of the group in diaspora and support from friendly countries and liaising with International Community of the Red Cross, made the rescue possible,” said the DSS DG.

He added that the process was slow because two different groups were holding the hostages while the negotiations took place mostly outside the country, though subsequently finalized in the theater of operations.

“The negotiations were mainly centered on an attempt at conflict mitigation which includes the fate of arrested members of the insurgent groups especially, accepting to free by government those found not to be culpable in any criminal activity.

Also, possible cessation of hostilities especially the attacks with IEDs on innocent civilians, worship centers, schools and other public places in return for temporary stoppage of air strikes by helicopter gunships,” Daura said of the conditions for the release of the hostages.

The International Committee of the Red Cross had always explained that its role in the process was to facilitate the hand over from the insurgents to the Nigerian military of hostages, acting as a neutral intermediary at the request of Boko Haram and the Federal Government, with the Department of State Services as representative.

But the big question which the DSS has failed to disclose was the huge ‘ransom’ usually exchanged with the insurgents for the abductees. While there has been no information on the amount paid to get Boko Haram to release the university lecturers and the 10 women, reports indicated that between two to three million euros were paid by the Federal Government to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of 82 Chibok girls in 2017.

According to the BBC, the money paid in cash was handed over to the insurgents in exchange for the release of the girls in addition to the release of five senior Boko Haram militants were bomb-makers.

“The ransom was €2m. Boko Haram asked for euros. They chose the suspects and gave us the list of girls who would be freed,” BBC quoted a source as confirming the deal with Boko Haram.

The presidency has not denied the claim. But an indication that the DSS will do anything to keep details of the negotiation away from the prying eyes of the public was the recent arrest and detention for several days of a journalist over an article that reveals some of the major dramatis personae in the negotiations and ransom payments.

The DG of DSS and other Nigerian officials involved in the very opaque negotiations are also feeding fat on it, just as Boko Haram is using its own part of the ransom for restocking of deadly weapons that will faciliate more abductions, according to sources.

Just recently, one of the Boko Haram commanders released was seen in a video posted on this website boasting of more attacks against Nigeria.

The willingness of the Federal Government to pay ransom for abductees is fueling the thirst of various factions of Boko Haram for mass kidnappings.

Nigerian lawmakers had alluded to this during debate of the abduction of Dapchi girls recently.

The lawmakers explained that Boko Haram now kidnap women and girls so as to negotiate and “get money” from the federal government “just like the case of Chibok girls.”

“What happened is a lesson for us. That Boko Haram sees girls or women as value targets. What they did in Chibok earned them some funds, because negotiations were held somehow and they got a lot of money,” Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan said during the debate.

“They devise a means of going to abduct people so that they would negotiate with the federal government for ransom. It happened with the recent abduction of Maiduguri staff that were on an exploration. The government negotiated with them and they got money. Now they have been empowered, even with police officers wives, the federal government went and negotiated with them and they were given money,” Senator Joshua Lidani representing Gombe South said.

“We need to be very proactive in this case because the idea of sitting down to always negotiating and paying ransom with this action, we are empowering the Boko- Haram so that they would continue to do more,” he added.

Borno Commissioner of Education said the closure of schools was to avoid falling into the trap of paying Boko Haram: “We have decided to relocate all our girls in boarding schools to within the metropolises of Maiduguri or Biu because we do not want a recurrence of the Chibok case.

“If the entire security situation is not addressed, one cannot be sure that it won’t happen again. If people start seeing that over time there are no more attacks, they will know that peace has returned.

“But in a situation where you cannot move to some parts of the state without escorts and you are hearing that in some cases, the military is being ambushed, you cannot deceive yourself and say everything is okay.

“If we have a situation where our military is still being ambushed, we cannot leave our girls in boarding schools and even the boys’ boarding schools.

“We cannot allow them to continue in boarding schools where the security is porous. We have to relocate the girls to boarding schools within the metropolises and we equally took proactive steps with the male boarding schools, because they cannot be said to be interested in girls alone.

“It is just that they (Boko Haram insurgents) have received more attention by abducting girls; there is more to gain by the insurgents when they carry girls because of the concerns of the people and government more for the womenfolk.”

Kubo revealed that the state government had collapsed all the girls’ boarding schools into Biu and Maiduguri, adding: “There are some other communities that operate girls’ schools but are not boarding schools, they have day schools, with the girls going back to their homes to sleep.”

The commissioner, who also commended the police for deploying their men in schools in the state, expressed hope that the deployment was sustained and not an action dictated by the emotions brought about by the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls.

He said measures had been taken to get all the schools in the troubled state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, shielded from any further attacks by the terrorists.

Kubo said: “It is a security measure and not meant for public consumption, but I can assure you that all the necessary machinery and apparatus have been put in place to safeguard our children.”

He also revealed that members of the vigilante group, known as the Civilian JTF, and local hunters had been deployed to keep schools safe in the state.

He, however, lamented that even with the arrangements put in place to secure the schools, no one was certain that there would be no more attacks by Boko Haram.

“What is most important and paramount is this, whatever arrangements you have is dependent on local security. What I am trying to say is that if a community is infested with insecurity, no matter the arrangements, it cannot stand the test of time.

“Like what happened in Chibok and like my issues with the former president (Goodluck Jonathan), he asked as to why we allowed these girls to be abducted in Chibok.

“He knew very well that the North-east is infested with insecurity, if there was no insecurity, no one would come into a school and pick up girls.

“So, whenever the security situation improves in the area, apprehension within schools and communities would naturally wane. But as long as insecurity is not totally addressed in the communities, whatever measures you put in place cannot succeed.

“This means that the federal government should continue in its determination to make sure that peace is restored.

“And people too have roles to play because the federal government can only act on information given to them by the members of the community. I believe much has been achieved, but more can be achieved if having recorded some success, the security agencies do not relax.

“When the security agencies relax sometimes, this has given the insurgents the opportunity to continue with their nefarious activities,” he added.

http://saharareporters.com/2018/03/13/borno-closes-schools-buharis-ransom-payments-sparks-fears-more-boko-haram-abductions

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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Boko Haram: The Jihadist Killers Nigeria Seems Unable or Unwilling To Stop — How often has the Government of Nigeria Declared Victory over Boko Haram since 2009?

February 22, 2018

AFP

© AFP | Suicide bomb attacks and abductions have been the hallmarks of Boko Haram’s bloody insurgency

LAGOS (AFP) – Nigeria’s Boko Haram, suspected of another mass kidnapping of school girls, started out as an Islamic anti-corruption group but mutated into an IS affiliate waging a lethal insurgency.- Fundamentalist –

Boko Haram aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria — a campaign that has cost at least 20,000 lives since 2009 and at its peak displaced 2.6 million from their homes. The name loosely translates from the Hausa language as “Western education is forbidden”.

Founder and spiritual leader Mohammed Yusuf pinned the blame for Nigeria’s ills on Western values left by colonial master Britain, criticised the country’s corrupt secular regime for neglecting development in Muslim regions and advocated a return to fundamentalist Islam.

He came to the attention of authorities in 2002 when he began to build a following among disaffected youths in Maiduguri.

Yusuf was killed in police custody in 2009 after an uprising in Maiduguri that prompted a military assault which killed some 700 people and left the group’s mosque and headquarters in ruins.

Many of its supporters fled the country.

– Violent turn –

Boko Haram was broadly peaceful before Yusuf’s death.

But his successor, his right-hand man Abubakar Shekau, undertook a violent campaign of deadly attacks on schools, churches, mosques, state entities and security forces.

Some Boko Haram members are thought to have trained with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in northern Mali in 2012 and 2013.

Among the group’s most notorious acts was the April 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from the remote town of Chibok. A total of 107 have since been released, found or escaped.

The mass abduction brought world attention to the insurgency at a time when Boko Haram was seizing territory across the northeast, which became a largely no-go area, with the violence spilling over into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

In August 2014 Shekau proclaimed a “caliphate” in the Borno town of Gwoza and in March 2015 pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

– Split –

The long-divided Boko Haram underwent a major split in 2016 when the IS recognised Yusuf’s son, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, as its leader.

The Barnawi faction is particularly active on the Chad and Niger borders and has said it will attack Nigerian government targets and the military.

Shekau’s faction operated out of the Sambisa Forest in Borno state, near the Cameroon border, and is responsible for unrelenting suicide bombings targeting civilians.

– Fight back –

President Muhammadu Buhari made crushing Boko Haram one of his priorities after he took office in May 2015.

The Nigerian military has since claimed to have reduced it to a spent and divided force but regular bloody raids and suicide bomb attacks continue.

The violence has forced 2.6 million from their homes since 2009, destroying property and farmland in the mainly rural northeast and sparking a humanitarian crisis and acute food shortages.

In January, troops from Nigeria and backed by others from Cameroon, Chad and Niger launched major offensives against the two Boko Haram factions.

The Nigerian military claimed “tremendous progress”.

Mass hearings started in October last year of 1,669 people arrested over the years on suspicion of being members of Boko Haram, including some women and children.

Since then more than 900 have been released, mostly for lack of evidence.

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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Scores of girls ‘missing’ after new Boko Haram school attack — Nigerian government spending a lot on arms, ammunitions, vehicles but it isn’t clear they really want to do away with Boko Haram

February 21, 2018

AFP

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© BOKO HARAM/AFP / by Aminu ABUBAKAR, with Phil HAZLEWOOD in Lagos | Fourteen missing ‘Chibok girls’ were seen in a video released on January 15 by their abductors

KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Fears grew in northeast Nigeria on Wednesday about the fate of potentially scores of girls who have not been seen since a Boko Haram attack on their school two days ago.Militants stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday evening. Locals initially said the girls and their teachers fled the attack.

The jihadists gained worldwide notoriety in April 2014 when they abducted 276 girls from their school in Chibok, in neighbouring Borno state.

Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath and since May last year, 107 have either escaped or been released as part of a government-brokered deal. A total of 112 are still being held.

Monday’s incident sparked fears of a repeat of Chibok and on Wednesday morning some 50 parents and guardians gathered at the school demanding information.

“Our girls have been missing for two days and we don’t know their whereabouts,” Abubakar Shehu, whose niece is among those missing, told AFP.

“Although we were told they had run to some villages, we have been to all these villages mentioned without any luck. We are beginning to harbour fears the worst might have happened.

“We have the fear that we are dealing with another Chibok scenario.”

– Confused picture –

According to school staff, there were 710 students at the state-run boarding school, which caters for girls aged 11 and above.

Inuwa Mohammed, whose 16-year-old daughter, Falmata, is also missing, said it was a confused picture and that parents had been frantically searching surrounding villages.

“Nobody is telling us anything officially,” he said. “We still don’t know how many of our daughters were recovered and how many are still missing.

“We have been hearing many numbers, between 67 and 94.”

Police in the state, which is one of three in the northeast Nigeria worst-affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, said they had no reports of abductions following the attack.

Yobe’s education commissioner, Mohammed Lamin, said the school had been shut and a rollcall of all the girls who have returned was being conducted.

“It is only after the head-count that we will be able to say whether any girls were taken,” he said.

Some of the girls had fled to villages up to 30 kilometres (nearly 20 miles) away through the remote bushland, he added.

– Weapon of war –

Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war since its insurgency began in 2009, seizing thousands of women and young girls, as well as men and boys of fighting age.

Some 300 children were among 500 people abducted from the town of Damasak in November 2014.

Getting accurate information from the remote northeast remains difficult. The army still largely controls access and infrastructure has been devastated by nine years of conflict.

In Chibok, the military initially claimed the students had all been found but was forced to back-track when parents and the school principal said otherwise.

As the issue gained world attention, spawning the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, the then president Goodluck Jonathan was increasingly criticised for his lacklustre response.

The mass abduction and Jonathan’s handling of it was seen as contributing to his 2015 election defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, who promised to bring the Boko Haram insurgency to an end.

But despite Buhari’s repeated claims the group is weakened to the point of defeat, civilians remain vulnerable to suicide attacks and hit-and-run raids in the remote northeast.

No-one from Buhari’s administration has yet commented on Dapchi.

Security analysts told AFP on Tuesday that government ransom payments to secure the release of the Chibok girls could have given the under-pressure group ideas for financing.

“They need money for arms, ammunitions, vehicles, to keep their army of fighters moving across the borders,” said Amaechi Nwokolo, from the Roman Institute of International Studies.

“They’re spending a lot of money on arms and logistics.”

by Aminu ABUBAKAR, with Phil HAZLEWOOD in Lagos
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Related:
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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and closeup

Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde