The Only Road Out of Africa by Brin Enterkin
14 Ways Agriculture is Reducing Poverty via Farming First
The women vanishing without a trace by Nina Lakhani
Death in Syria by Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Derek Watkins
How Fear Drives American Politics by David Rothkopf
Five reflections on Europe's migrant crisis by Mark Urban
The Syrian Crisis: Practical ways to help by Cerys Parker
The CAR's rushed elections are a dangerous gamble via African Arguments
Russia: Children With Disabilities Face Discrimination via Human Rights Watch
Adept at Adapting by Bill Gates
Nearly 250,000 children at risk of malnutrition in South Sudan via United Nations and Catherine Hasselberg
Ebola Changed Everything by Laura Hoemeke
UN agency urges truce in Syria fighting during harvesting by Chris Arsenault
It has officially been a year since the Chibok girls were taken from their families by the Boko Haram. A year of fear and wondering where they have been taken to. A year of despair for families and friends not knowing whether their girls are suffering or even alive.
Today we keep this issue alive, not only for the girls that were taken a year ago, but for everyone affected by this horrible terrorist group. The kidnapping of the Chibok girls was not the beginning or the end of their actions. The situation continues to get worse and millions of people's lives are turned upside down.
According to Amnesty International-
-Over 2,000 women and children have been abducted since the start of 2014.
-There are an estimated 15,000 Boko Haram fighters, many are women who have been forced to fight for them.
-At least 5,500 civilians have been killed since the start of 2014.
Additionally, Unicef says that at least 800,000 children have been displaced because of the violence.
There is hope for the Chibok girls, with new reports that over 50 girls were seen alive and well in Gwoza just a few weeks ago. There are also stories, like this one, of acts of defiance and courage from the girls in captivity.
No matter what happens, we cannot forget about the Chibok girls. To honor them the best we have to fight the evil that is terrorism. The Boko Haram must be stopped.
To learn more...
Read more about the report from Amnesty International here.
Uprooted by Boko Haram via Unicef
The fight to free Nigera's girls from Boko Haram must continue by Gordon Brown
Nigeria's Chibok girls 'seen with Boko Haram in Gwoza' via BBC
800,000 Nigerian kids displaced by Boko Haram, violence by Josh Levs
#BringBackOurGirls #NeverToBeForgotten #PrayForNigeria
Written by Sarah Haney
Several issues combating the Nigerian people have succeeded in turning peace into a very rare commodity indeed.
For a great percentage of the populace, the most worrisome of these issues would be insecurity and the rising spate of brazen insurgent attacks on innocent and average citizens of the North Eastern region of the country.
Like rubbing salt on an open wound, the absence of peace is further compounded by the seemingly unresponsiveness and insensitivity of the government to the plights of her stricken people. To cut the government some slack, ‘concerted’ efforts far removed from public views may well be going on ‘underground’to protect the Nigerian people but the results are definitely slow in showing.
Come April 15, the missing Chibok girls –if still alive- would have been in captivity for a period of one year. Although the Nigerian Government would have the people believe spirited and calculated efforts are ongoing to secure their release, there has been little to show for it as the Chibok girls are still in captivity and would have forcefully become women by now.
From the period of the abduction till date, more men, women and youngsters have been reportedly abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram group in the same region.
The ‘BH’ group which has become one of the most dreaded groups globally is a controversial militant Islamic group founded in 2002. The group is intent on completely Islamising the Northern part of the country by the imposition of Sharia law and principles. Even though the purely Islamic group opposes Western education and ideologies, as well as every semblance of Western culture and modern science, they are apparently not averse to making use of the products of modern science and technology. This includes high tech fire arms in achieving their aims. The knife-wielding foot soldiers of yore have become an effective commando force that boasts of sophisticated weapons in its arsenal. They are no longer poor and disgruntled but are now reportedly backed by wealthy unnamed individuals within the Nigerian state.
It is clear that in the past five years, the group has grown horrifically in stature and gruesomeness in Nigeria's north-eastern region. The membership has grown in leaps and the mode of operations has drastically changed. They now control large territories after successfully establishing their ‘Islamic caliphate’ seat and all those beyond government control in a country regarded as Africa’s largest economy.
To conclude that the country lacks the capacity and will to battle the menace of insurgency in the nation may not be far from the truth if the rising spate of gruesome and horrific attacks are anything to go by. For whatever reason, the will…not the capacity.
So far, an estimated 14,000 people –peasants and elites, Muslims and Christians have been reportedly slain in the last five years with the latest massacre occuring earlier in the month of January in the city of Baga. There have been conflicting reports of the total number of casualties with figures as high as 2000 lost lives been bandied around. Millions have been displaced with many fleeing into the neighbouring countries to seek refuge, churches as well as mosques razed down.
It would appear that the fight is no longer against ‘Western Education’ but against humanity. It is no longer against the Nigerian government but against the concept of living as there has been a clear departure from the ‘original objectives’ of the group as Muslims and non-Muslims are equally being cut down daily in the horrific scripts unravelling before the eyes of the world.
Maybe if the whole world stood still as it did when France was attacked earlier in the week, the war would be half won in the hearts of the Nigerian people and the burden of mortal helplessness would become lighter to bear. Regardless of race or color, everyone is important in the big picture as we all form pieces and parts of the big jigsaw.
Also considering recent reports of attacks against Cameroun and Chad, it is becoming clear that the fight is gradually been taken from the doorsteps of Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
The message is loud rather than subtle to the discerning that the fight is no longer only that of the Nigerian people anymore.
As the Nation goes to the polls in February with a view of sorting out her corporate governance issues, there are flickers of (dwindling) hopes in the heart of the Nigerian people…hope of peace…hope of survival…hope of change...hope of an end to insurgency.
For as things stand, sleep has long been murdered and the Nigerian people can neither find peace nor sleep…unless the WORLD unites to fight this war for and with the people regardless of the (in)action of the Government.
Written by Abiola Olaleye