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500 days since Chibok girls’ kidnap

It’s been 500 days this week, since the radical Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a secondary school in the predominantly Christian village of Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria. 

Since then, little has been heard of their fate: some are presumed to have been forced into marriages, or used as suicide bombers, and only a handful have managed to escape.

#Bring Back Our Girls has launched a week of action, which includes notably prayers, meetings with the Chief of Defence Staff, and a candle light procession in Abuja, the capital.

According to Rev Samuel Dali, the President of the Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), 176 of the kidnapped girls are from his denomination.

Speaking to local media, Rev Dali also said that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70 percent of church facilities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States had been destroyed. Some 90,000 EYN church members are reported to have been displaced by the insurgency.

Source: The Guardian

ISIS’s humanitarian crisis continues

A year after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the “appalling, widespread and systematic deprivation of human rights” by the Islamic State, the situation remains much the same, according to Rene Wadlow, President of the Association of World Citizens.

In a blog titled ‘The Continuing Humanitarian Crisis in ISIS-held Areas’, Wadlow adds that “the policies of ISIS leaders are deliberate violations of world law and ethical standards”, which have “increased religious sectarian attitudes”.

“World law as developed by the UN applies not only to the governments of member states, but also to individuals and non-governmental organizations,” he says. “ISIS has not been recognized as a state and is not a member of the UN. Nevertheless, the Association of World Citizens is convinced that the terms of the aforementioned declaration apply to ISIS and that its actions are, in the terms of the declaration, ‘inadmissible’.”

Attackers ‘search for Christians’ in Burkina Faso

Suspected Islamic militants attacked near the West African nation's border with Mali on Monday, wounding at least two people as they said they were targeting Christians, a witness and a security official said.

Witness Alassane Hamidou told Associated Press that he had gone to a police station in Oursi about 50km from the Mali border; when he knocked on the door, three masked gunmen inside told him to lie down on the ground.

"There are no police here now – it is Boko Haram from now on," the assailants said, according to Hamidou. "We are looking for Christians – and you are spared because you are a Muslim."

Even though the attackers mentioned Boko Haram it’s not known whether they had any connection to the Nigeria-based group. Such a claim is unusual in Burkina, which has largely been spared the jihadi violence destabilizing nearby countries. However, a Romanian security officer working at a mine in Burkina Faso was kidnapped nearly five months ago.

Source: Associated Press

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