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William Stark, Regional Manager for Africa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
90 Percent of 180 Identified Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram Profess Christianity
Kidnapped Girls Being Sold into Slavery by Boko Haram
International Christian Concern
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Islamic insurgency and U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Boko Haram has overwhelmingly abducted self-proclaimed Christians in its raid on a government-sponsored secondary school in Chibok, northern Nigeria. Boko Haram leaders have formally claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping of 243 school girls and, as reported by the parents of the abducted, Boko Haram is suspected to still be in possession of more than 230 school girls who are being sold into domestic and sexual servitude for as little as $12.00 each.
On the night of April 14, more than 100 armed Boko Haram insurgents abducted a reported 243 students from an all-girls government-sponsored secondary school after shooting their way past the compound's security staff. The mass kidnapping lasted approximately six hours as the kidnappers hand-selected their victims from the more than 250 students attending the secondary school. The overwhelmingly Christian crop of abductees was then loaded onto the backs of military-grade trucks and driven deep into the Sambisa Forest located on the Nigerian-Cameroonian border. Though an estimated one to two dozen of those abducted have reportedly escaped, search parties comprised of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) vigilantes and parents continue to search alongside the Nigerian Army for the remaining missing girls.
Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye of the Old Time Revival Hour Church in Kaduna compiled a list of 180 kidnapped girls who have been identified. The list, which includes the girls' names, religious affiliations, and photographs, has yet to be verified by Nigerian authorities. The Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF), an affiliate of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), first released the list late on May 4.
Identifying 163 Christian girls and 15 Muslim girls suspected to still be in captivity, CAN claims the disproportionately Christian inclination of the abduction points to targeting by Boko Haram in the selection of their victims. "Chibok local government is 90% Christian. Majority of the girls abducted are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok local government? Why didn't they visit so many other local government girls secondary schools in Borno State?" lamented Owojaiye.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin," continues to pursue its goal of carving out a separate Islamic state from Nigeria's northern regions where it can establish its ultra-conservative interpretation of Sharia law. The insurgency, currently a U.S.-designated FTO, often targets schools, government institutions and religious minorities-mostly Christians-as part of a broader strategy to create a purely Islamic society in northern Nigeria. In 2014 alone, it's estimated more than 2,500 innocents have been murdered by Boko Haram, many of whom are known Christians whose communities have been pillaged and churches set ablaze.
ICC's Regional Manager, William Stark, said, "Boko Haram's deliberate targeting of Christian students for sale into domestic slavery and forced marriage once again illustrates the group's limitless repertoire of evil and its willingness to unleash that evil in pursuit of a separate Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. While ICC continues to join the international community in calling for a return to a peace in northern Nigeria, we cannot refuse to recognize the Nigerian State's inability to provide the security necessary to ensure prosperous living for the nation's Christians and other minority religions, especially in the increasingly lawless northern regions. If the Nigerian state and international community continue to fail to respond to Boko Haram effectively, 230 innocent school girls could be lost to a lifetime of suffering and oppression at the hands of these Islamic militants."
The list released by NOSCEF is as follows:
Ten of One-Hundred Sixty-Three Identified Christian Abductees
Deborah Abge, Mary Dauda, Gloria Mainta, Ruth Kollo, Esther Usman, Hana Stephen, Rebecca Mallum, Blessing Abana, Rejoice Musa, and Rachael Nkeki.
Identified Muslim Abductees
Aishatu Musa, Aishatu Grema, Hauwa Nkeki, Hamsatu Abubakar, Mairama Abubakar, Hauwa Wule, Ijyi Abdu, Hasana Adamu, Rakiya Kwamtah, Halima Gamba, Aisha Lawan, Kabu Malla, Yayi Abana, Falta Lawan, and Kwadugu Manu.
For interviews, contact William Stark, Regional Manager for Africa: RM-AfricaAsia@persecution.org
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