Boko Haram maintains lead as global terrorist group: Relative of abducted Chibok schoolgirls killed in recent atrocity
Justice for Jos Project, US Nigeria Law Group
02 February 2016
Image credit: Stringer—AFP/Getty Images, from Time.com
On January 30, 2016, the world’s number one terror group, Boko Haram, perpetrated an especially heinous massacre in Dalori in northeastern Nigeria that pushed its 2016 murders into triple digits in just the first month of the year. Children were confirmed burnt alive its latest attack.
Terrorism by the numbers: A brief History of Boko Haram New Year attacks
- In January 2012, Boko Haram issued an ultimatum by leaflets ordering all Christians and southerners to leave northern Nigeria in 72 hours. At the expiration of the 3-day deadline, Boko Haram struck a hotel in the northeast and killed Christian southerners. The following day, they struck again at the home where mourners gathered to grieve in Mubi. The executions were committed with trademark point blank kill shots to the head. The sole survivor of the Mubi Massacre is still receiving surgery in the US.
- Boko Haram’s first terror attack on Christmas Eve, 2003 was the launch of Boko Haram’s final solution to eliminate infidels in Nigeria. It was the commencement of its jihadi genocide.
- On Jan 20, Boko Haram unleashed a multi-front assault on the largest northern city of Kano. In addition to bombings, terrorists at check-points asked motorists their religious affiliation and summarily executed non-Muslim men. They also killed Muslims and Christian women working for the government. Over 200 people were slain – the Kano Massacre was the highest single day fatality in any global conflict until the Syrian civil war caught up later that summer.
- By the end of 2012, more Christians had been killed in northern Nigeria that year than in the rest of the world combined.
- In January 2015, Boko Haram perpetrated another genocidal massacre on the town of Baga, leaving an estimated 2000 residents dead. The Baga Massacre was the worst single terror attack since the September 11, 2001 attacks,which also recorded quadruple digit casualties.
The January 30th 2016 Dalori Massacre also targeted camps for Internally Displaced Persons who had fled areas overrun by Boko Haram. Boko Haram had on September 11, 2015 bombed an IDP camp for refugees recently returned from neighboring Cameroun. That camp had previously hosted hundreds of women and children rescued by the Nigerian army from terrorist captivity whom our EMC relief team visited. The recent attack is a continuation of a new tactic of striking already vulnerable populations in their places of refuge.
Three days before the Dalori Massacre, Boko Haram bombed the beleaguered town of Chibok using multiple suicide bombers. Chibok, made famous by the notorious abduction of almost 300 schoolgirls in 2014, has now been attacked multiple times.
During this same period, Boko Haram (BH) also bombed the neighboring country of Cameroun. Boko Haram is engaged in a coordinated regional insurgency affecting four West African countries – an operational footprint that rivals its Mideast ally, ISIS. Contrary to common misconceptions, BH is neither home-grown nor home-bound, having attacked citizens of over 18 nations.
Today, BH is still deploying, with deadly efficacy, female suicide bombers. Between June 2014 when the first female suicide bomber detonated in Nigeria and the end of 2015, over 70 females, including ten year-old girls, have been used as suicide bombers. This number in an 18-month period exceeds global world totals going back about a decade.
HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM UPDATE: E.S.C.A.P.E. Launch
Part of our humanitarian interventions to mitigate the Boko Haram genocide is exfiltration of vulnerable young victims and placement in safe schools under our Education Must Continue Initiative.
Of 14 Chibok school girls now in the US, at least half lost relatives in 2015. A random poll of a number of girls in our US program indicates that three girls lost people they knew in last week’s bombing. Two escaped Chibok schoolgirls lost a relative who had gone to the recently re-opened market, ironically to purchase medicine, when one of the bombers detonated their IED. When he was being conveyed out of state to a hospital with a resident doctor, he died, leaving behind a wife and children.
In a positive program update, on February 1, 2016, one of the escaped Chibok schoolgirls commenced college in the United States. After a series of delays including funding and then the snow blizzard, she was finally able to begin classes this week. Dela is the first Chibok schoolgirl globally to attain this college level placement after her harrowing abduction some 660 days ago.
This courageous teen, who jumped out of a Boko Haram truck and carried her injured friend through Sambisa forest to safety, is among those who lost a parent in 2015. She had been in two different schools attacked by Boko Haram in 2013 and 2014. Her return to school for the third and fourth time against all odds is an inspiration to many.
She is joining two other victims of persecution in EMC’s new Escaped Schoolgirl College Abroad Program for Empowerment (ESCAPE.) Zee, our latest arrival, was shot in the head as the terrorists executed her father, a pastor, in cold blood in their home. Since then, she has narrowly escaped several other attacks including a bombing that took the lives of some schoolmates last June hours after our team visited. She flew to the US in September unable to pick her belongings as the terrorists had besieged her hometown at that time.
Despite the multiplying tragedies in Nigeria, we are inspired by the modern day profiles of courage exemplified in our ESCAPE Scholars. Helen Keller reminded us that “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Accordingly, these inspiring young women who have escaped the destruction of terrorism inspire us all to assist with practical solutions to this travesty.
The following actions, to assist in this urgent situation, are recommended:
- We urge the Nigerian Government to provide medical doctors in Chibok and other Terrorism-Prone Zones (TPZs) of the northeast to minimize in transit deaths
- We urge the Nigerian Government not to close down IDP camps as planned but rather improve security, safety and safeguards against abuse and trafficking.
- We urge the Nigerian Government and Aid groups to urgently facilitate victim resettlement in safe locations.
- We urge the international community to raise the $600 million in resources the UN estimates is required to meet the needs of the approximately 3 million displaced.
- We urge the international community to work concertedly to stamp out Boko Haram, which has spread to Chad, Niger and Cameroun with global linkages to ISIS.
- We urge the USA to stop blocking the visas of escaped Chibok schoolgirls who have approved scholarships to schools in the US, and to approve US resettlement for refugees.
- We urge the UN and WHO to pay for their own staff furniture in Nigeria so that the government of Nigeria can redirect its funds to victim care for citizens.
- We urge the UN to reimburse Nigeria for the $30 million spent on repairing its offices bombed by Boko Haram.
- We urge the international community to provide urgent assistance to enable the 20,000 UN estimated lost but found kids to trace and be reunified with their families.
- We urge the Nigerian government to prioritize the safety and security of all communities and the rescue of the abducted 219 Chibok schoolgirls and other captives.
- We urge the international community, the UN, ICC, EU and US to recognize Boko Haram’s actions as genocide.
- We urge the regional countries especial Chad, Cameroun and Niger to stop forced repatriation of refugees.
Contact: Emmanuel Ogebe, Special Counsel Justice for Jos Project at firstname.lastname@example.org . Phone 571-293-6362. The Justice for Jos Project monitors & fosters legal responses to end impunity & seek resolutions under the rule of law. J4J is the humanitarian pro bono initiative of the US Nigeria Law Group. USNLG led the successful campaign to designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization in the US, UN and UK. E.S.C.A.P.E. is a Special Project of the Education Must Continue Initiative.
To learn more on the initiative or to support our efforts, see http://www.emcinitiative.org on Facebook/EducationmustcontinueInitiative and https://www.gofundme.com/rux936pg
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. – Rev. Dr MLK
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