Monday, October 27, 2014

Nigeria: The Government Cannot Be Trusted Anymore Than Boko Haram

According to The Associated Press, dozens of girls and young women continue to be abducted despite Nigerian government announcements that the originally abducted 219 girls and women abducted in April 2014 were about to be released.
COMMENT: Contemporary statements by the Nigerian government suggest that the Nigerian government itself is no more capable and worthy of trust than Boko Haram.
On October 17, Nigeria's military announced a cease-fire.
Officials said the cease-fire would lead to the speedy release of the 219 girls kidnapped from a boarding school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok on April 15.
On October 18, at least 70 teenage girls and boys have been kidnapped in Borno and Adamawa states, according to local government chairman Shettima Maina.
Boko Haram has also launched several attacks since the cease-fire was announced. On Friday a multinational force including troops from Nigeria and Niger engaged in fierce fighting to regain control of Abadam, a town held by Boko Haram on the western shores of Lake Chad.
The continued fighting and abductions raise profound questions regarding the seemingly rumored cease-fire. 
Ten days after the announcement, Boko Haram has not indicated that it has agreed to a truce.
Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs, Aminu Wali, said Monday (October 27) that the release of the Chibok girls is part of ongoing cease-fire negotiations, which would not be affected by the latest abductions.
Abducted girls are subjected to horrific treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a new report on Monday, quoting escapees who described forced marriages and rapes, forced conversions to Islam, forced labor and forced participation in attacks.
More than 500 girls and women have been kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2009, according to an estimate conducted by Human Rights Watch. 
Human Rights Watch said that only 30 escapees it interviewed only students who escaped from Chibok had received some type of state-supported counseling and medical care. Yet, it quoted one of the Chibok girls as saying the counseling was just speeches by one Christian and one Muslim cleric.
Another Chibok girl said: "I just want someone who will listen to me and help me to stop the fear that takes over my mind when I think of my sisters (school mates) who are still with Boko Haram. I am so afraid for them. Why can't the government bring them back?"
Sadly, the short answer to the former Chibok captive is this:
"Because it is NOT a priority for the Nigerian government to ever find the 219 missing girls and young women."

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