Date: August 18, 2016
The 11-Minute Video Shows Approximately 50 of the Remaining 218 Missing Girls
By Michael Ireland, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (ANS, Aug.18, 2016) – A new video has emerged from Islamist terror group Boko Haram which includes footage of the remaining kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org, the video shows girls reading a list of demands from the militant Islamist terror group in exchange for the safe return of those pictured. The footage first aired on social media where international news media picked up the story.
In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. Within days following the tragedy, 57 girls escaped, but 218 remain in captivity.
A Nigerian vigilante group found and rescued Amina Ali Nkeki and her infant child on May 17, 2016, wandering near the edge of Sambisa Forest, according to reports.
The father of one of the girls has confirmed the identity of his daughter, Maida Yakubu, in the recently released video. The footage reveals a masked Boko Haram militant and approximately 50 of the remaining missing schoolgirls. Using Yakubu as a mouthpiece, the militants demand the release of other Boko Haram insurgents in exchange for the safe return of the girls. They appeal to the parents to force the hand of the Nigerian government in this matter.
ICC says the video also reportedly depicts dead teenage girls, clips that analysts speculate could be slain Chibok girls. In the footage, Boko Haram blames Nigerian airstrikes for causing the casualties, a claim the Nigerian government has reportedly denied.
ICC recently reported on the split in leadership of Boko Haram, a crucial piece in understanding the timing of this video release. This video is believed to be a power show by Boko Haram's longtime but recently replaced leader, Abubakar Shekau.
In a separate report, Morning Star News (www.morningstarnews.org) says a faction of Boko Haram remaining faithful to former leader Abubakar Shekau, reportedly released the video via a journalist on Twitter purporting to show many of the 276 girls kidnapped from a high school in Chibok, Borno state in April 2014.
Morning Star News reports that in what appears to be a propaganda video, apparently made in part to garner funding as the main Boko Haram group continues to receive foreign financing, one of the girls speaks of their suffering from aerial bombing as she begs “my people and our parents” to urge the Nigerian government to release Boko Haram prisoners so the girls can return to their families.
"We are not happy living here," Yakubu tells the camera in clips shown on CNN, "I'm begging our parents to meet the government to release their people so that we can be released."The video is being seenas another proof of life.
In the video, a masked man stands behind dozens of girls. "We want to send this message first to the parents of these girls for them to know that these girls are still with us, some of them, and secondly they should tell the Federal Government of Nigeria, to with immediate effect, release our imprisoned brothers," the man said. "Some of the girls, about forty of them with God's permission have been married, some of them have died as a result of bombing by the infidels." One veiled girl could be seen holding a baby.
At the end of the video unidentified bodies could be seen on the ground. "Military jets have killed some of the girls," said one of the girls, who was identified by her father, Yakubu Kabu, as his daughter Dorcas.
Yakubu told reporters in Abuja, "When I heard her voice, I realize(d) she is my daughter. We are pleading with the government to help...The children are suffering. Some of them could be very sick."
Boko Haram has reportedly promised that without the Nigerian government meeting their list of demands, their parents will never again see them alive.
Troy Augustine, ICC's Regional Manager, said, "ICC rejoices that this latest video shows that at least a number of the kidnapped Chibok girls are still alive. It brings relief and confidence to Christians, to the girls' parents, and to the world that these families may be one day reunited.
“However, ICC calls on the Nigerian government to redouble their efforts to secure the girls' safe return. Now, nearly two and a half years on from the abduction and following multiple videos establishing 'proof of life,' little has changed to suggest the Nigerian military is getting any closer to rescuing the girls. We call on all those concerned to continue to pray for the Chibok girls and their families and to continue to raise alarm about the urgency of the need to bring back our girls."
Seven Christians Killed in North-Central Nigeria by Boko Haram-backed Muslim Fulani Cattle Herders
Meanwhile, Muslim Fulani herdsmen, apparently being armed by Islamist terror group Boko Haram, attacked a predominantly Christian village in north-central Nigeria on Saturday (Aug. 13), killing seven Christians, sources told Morning Star News.
Two weeks after herdsmen attacked a nearby area in Kaduna state, the assailants attacked Golkofa village in the same state’s Jema’a Local Government Area on Saturday night, they said.
"The Christians were killed in their homes," Golkofa resident Sunday Saleh told Morning Star News. "Some of the victims were shot while others were cut with machetes."
Saleh said the seven Christians killed were Thomas Maimasara, 40, and Sabo Boyi, 25, both cousins of his; Bobo Okocha, 18; Monday Hamza, 24; Waje Rubutu, 17; Linus, 20; and Julius, 19. The latter five Christians were members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Golkofa, he said.
Golkofa village is about five kilometers (three miles) from Gada Biyu village, where similar attacks killed 13 people Aug. 1-3.
Saleh said Nigerian police evacuated the corpses of Saturday’s attack at about noon on Sunday and took them to Kafanchan General Hospital. The victims were to be buried on Wednesday (Aug 17).
The Rev. Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, secretary of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), confirmed the killings in a phone interview with Morning Star News.
“These attacks on Christian communities are senseless and uncalled for,” he said. “Why carry out attacks on communities without provocation? The Nigerian government needs to stop these killings by these Muslim herdsmen.”
The chairman of the state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Dr. Haruna Usman, told The Daily Trust newspaper that he was unaware of the attack but noted that herdsmen injured an area farmer on June 26, and in revenge village youths burned down a Fulani settlement.
The Rt. Rev. Timothy Yahaya, Anglican bishop of Kaduna, told Morning Star News that Christians have been attacked incessantly in the state.
“The attacks by the herdsmen on Christian communities are not only condemnable but must be stopped by the Nigerian government,” he said. “We are tired of these bloody attacks on Christians, not only in Kaduna state, but also in other parts of the country.”
Morning Star News explained that Kaduna and Plateau states have been plagued by such attacks for years, with Fulani leaders making unsubstantiated claims of cattle rustling by youths among the predominantly Christian farmers as the pretext for the killings.
In recent years there are signs that Islamic extremist groups are arming and/or accompanying Muslim Fulani herdsmen and inciting them in their tribal and economic conflicts with Christian farmers. The assaults on unarmed Christians have reached central-eastern states such as Taraba and Benue, as well as more southern areas.
In Jalingo, Taraba state, Catholic Bishop Charles Hammawa told www.ChurchMilitant.com that Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, has helped arm Muslim herdsmen against Christian farmers and drive them out. He called it a new strategy Boko Haram is employing after losing substantial territory in the past year.
“It appears to be a strategy to deliberately populate areas with Muslims and, by the sheer weight of superior numbers, influence political decision-making in the region,” he said.
Church leaders say attacks on Christian communities by the herdsmen constitute a war “by Islam to eliminate Christianity” in Nigeria. Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million and live mainly in the south, while Muslims account for 45 percent and live mainly in the north.
A new leader recently took power of Boko Haram, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has reportedly promised to kill more Christians and burn down more churches.
For comfort for the abducted girls, and that God would give them hopeFor their safe release, and for wisdom for those working to free themFor strength for their parents as they continue to look for the return of their daughters.For Christian believers in Nigeria as they face attacks from Boko Haram-backed Fulani herdsmen
Morning Star News. http://morningstarnews.org
Photo Captions: 1) Footage purportedly showing some of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.2) A distraught parent points out his daughter in a still photo from the new video. 3) Armed Fulani herdsmen have recently attacked Christians. 4) Michael Ireland.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. To help Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, log-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.