Boko Haram group ‘must be stopped’

Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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More needs to be done to stop the militant Islamist group responsible for kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria exactly six months ago, a letter signed by British politicians and former military leaders has urged.

Boko Haram, the group that abducted the pupils from a school in Chibok in the northern state of Borno in April, are now said to be backed by fellow terror group Islamic State (IS), according to the letter published in the Independent newspaper.

Among those calling for an international inquiry into the financing of the terrorists, and military assistance for the Nigerian security forces in their attempts to defeat them, are former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown and former Army chief General Sir David Richards.

The international community must work together to stop the group, having been too slow to act when the girls were first taken, the letter said.

“Boko Haram and Isis form a key part of a growing, well-organised international terror network that poses a direct threat to UK national security. They must be stopped,” it added.

The signatories, including former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth, said the brutality and violence seen so far “is just a small taste of the turmoil that will ensue if the group realises its goal of securing an African caliphate in the west of the continent”.

The mass kidnap of the schoolgrils drew global attention when high-profile celebrities including Angelina Jolie and America’s First Lady Michelle Obama posed for pictures for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on Twitter.

In July Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old campaigner for education and women’s rights who last week won the Nobel Peace Prize, visited some of the girls who have escaped from the terror group.

She said she wanted to ” honour the stories of these brave girls who have sacrificed so much to get an education and achieve their dreams”.

Twenty seven hostages presumed to have been kidnapped by Boko Haram were freed in Cameroon on Saturday.

Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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