On Wednesday the U.S. State Department designated Boko Haram, a violent persecutor of Christians in Nigeria, as a foreign terrorist organization. Responsible for the deaths of an estimated 3,000 Nigerians in the last four years, and with established links to al-Qaida and al-Shabab, Boko Haram has been known for the brutal murders of moderate Muslims, Christians, and all others it considers “infidels.”
Jubilee Campaign and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have both been active in calling for this designation. Now sanctions can be imposed on entities that fund the group, bank accounts can be seized, and arrests of Boko Haram members can be made.
“Victims and their families we have been in touch with welcome this long delayed and overdue designation. We are also pleased with the emphasis in the White House and the Department of State announcements on enhancing the efforts of the Nigerian government to end the violence,” says Ann Buwalda, Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign.
“Terrorist groups must not be allowed to engage in genocidal terror, especially when available steps can be taken to help curtail such violence,” says Alliance Defending Freedom chief counsel Benjamin Bull. “The State Department is right to finally respond to the calls of many in the international community who see this designation as clearly needed.”
Emmanuel Ogebe serves as Jubilee Campaign’s legal expert on Nigeria. “Thousands of lives have been lost in this largely silent slaughter in Nigeria at the blood-thirsty hands of Boko Haram,” he says. “Although it took a long time for the State Department to understand what the DOJ, DOD and Congress already did, the time has come to help bring an end to this senseless violence.”
*This Article Published 11/14/2013