Islamic terror group Boko Haram has expanded its deadly raids into the country of Niger, killing seven workers at a mining company and kidnapping 15 girls from nearby villages, Christian Post reports.
The radicals, who since 2009 have been active in Nigeria but have also attacked neighboring Cameroon, reportedly killed seven people at the French mining company FORACO in the Diffa region in Niger last week. Later in the week the terrorists raided the villages of Blahardé and Bandé in the municipality of Toumour, kidnapping 15 girls, Fides News said.
Boko Haram is renowned for kidnapping masses of schoolgirls throughout Nigeria, including many Christian girls, and attempting to force them to renounce their Christian faith and marry jihadi fighters. Politicians in Diffa responded to the latest raid by calling on the Army to locate and rescue the hostages.
“We ask the government, despite all the efforts already made, to take urgent measures to find the abducted women, and return them to their families,” parliamentarians said in a statement.
“Other events could occur: if we do not anticipate the deadly actions of Boko Haram, we will live more difficult situations. We ask the government to consider our requests, not only as elected officials in the Diffa region, but also on behalf of the peoples of the region who are experiencing moments of extreme difficulty,” they warned.
There had been hopes that the terror group is being defeated under the presidency of Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, but attacks in several countries have continued and increased in the past few months. AFP reported that Buhari is planning on visiting with military troops fighting the Islamic State terror group-affiliated rebels, in the wake of clashes that have left scores of soldiers either dead or missing. As many as 100 soldiers are believed to have been killed during a massive Boko Haram raid on a base in Metele village near the border with Niger on Nov. 18.
“There is need for a change in the war strategies. Our troops should be more proactive rather than reactive. We have to find out why the insurgents have more superior firearms than our soldiers. What has happened to our huge defense budget?,” said security consultant Don Okereke to AFP.
More than 27,000 are believed to have been killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria since the start of the attacks in 2009, with thousands of women and children held in captivity and used for ransom.
The story of 15-year-old Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from a school in February has drawn international attention, as the Christian girl has refused to convert to Islam to gain her freedom. Boko Haram has demanded a ransom payment of $275 million for Sharibu’s release, and has warned they will hold her captive and use her as a slave for life if their demands aren’t met.
Refugees from Syria’s Rukban camp expected to leave camp in September
Work to resettle refugees from Syria’s Rukban camp will begin on September 27, Russian Colonel Leonid Antonik told an emergency meeting of the Russian and Syrian interdepartmental centers on refugee resettlement.
“The Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria and Refugee Migration Monitoring has just received an updated plan on getting the remaining refugees out of the Rukban camp from the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs in Syria Corinne Fleischer,” TASS quotes Colonel Antonik as saying.
“The implementation of the plan is scheduled to begin on 27 September,” the colonel has said.
Russian military police will oversee the evacuation of refugees from the camp Rukban in Syria, the head of the reconciliation center, Major-General Andrei Bakin told the media.
The Rukban refugee camp emerged on the Syrian-Jordanian border in 2014 after Amman had closed the border due to security and economic concerns. The adjacent area, controlled by illegal armed gangs, is torn by a severe humanitarian crisis.
US Must Apologize for Bombing Former Yugoslavia, Says Russian Diplomat
The United States must apologize for bombing the former Yugoslavia back in 1999 and pay compensation to the relatives of those killed and injured in the US-backed NATO air raids, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
“And for a start, the United States should apologize to those it bombed, pay out compensation to those killed and wounded and to those whose health was damaged because of shells loaded with depleted uranium. And only when this is done, when the proper groundwork has been laid, can it call on others to move forward,” she wrote on her Facebook account, commenting on the statement by outgoing US Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, who said that the Serbs should look at NATO’s bombings in 1999 from a “broader perspective.”
On March 24, 1999, NATO began a military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. NATO leadership claimed that prevention of genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo was the main reason behind the operation called Allied Force. NATO said that during the 78-day operation its aircraft flew 38,000 sorties to carry out 10,000 bombing strikes.
Military experts have found that the alliance launched 3,000 cruise missiles and dropped 80,000 bombs, including cluster bombs and low-enriched uranium bombs. According to Serbian forces, the bombardments killed 3,500-4,000 and injured 10,000 others, two thirds of them civilians.
According to Serbian experts, NATO dropped 15 tonnes of depleted uranium over the three months of bombings to make the country Europe’s number one in terms of cancer cases. About 30,000 new cancer cases were registered in the first ten years after the bombings, with the lethality rate from 10,000 to 18,000 patients.
Material damage totaled $100 billion. The strikes against oil refineries and petrochemical plants poisoned the country’s water supply system with toxic chemicals.
According to Ljubisa Rakic, a Serbian scientist and a member of the Serbian, Russian, New York, Eurasian, European and other academies, the amount of low-enriched uranium dropped by NATO on the Balkans was enough to make 170 A-bombs like the one that was dropped by the United States on Japan’s Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Donetsk Leader Urges Sanctions on Kiev over Its Reluctance to Fulfill Minsk Peace Deal
As guarantors, Germany and France should penalize Kiev with sanctions for its unwillingness to fulfill the Minsk agreements to settle the Donbass crisis, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said on Monday.
“The statements by Ukraine’s new foreign minister that Kiev is not planning to amend the constitution in order to grant Donbass a special status came as no surprise to us… Ukrainian politicians, who have been declaring full commitment to the Minsk [agreements] throughout all these years, are trying to avoid responsibility for failing to honor their obligations,” Pushilin said in a statement published on the Donetsk News Agency’s website.
The Donetsk leader recalled that the special status provisions for the region and on absolving individuals linked to the Donbass events had been confirmed by the Minsk deal, which was backed by the UN Security Council’s binding resolution.
“Any changes and amendments to the Minsk agreements are out of question. If we assume that the world community and the Minsk deal’s guarantors are unbiased, then sanctions should have already been slapped on Ukraine, at least by Germany and France, for violating the agreements and failing to fulfill its commitments as well as for public statements about this made by officials,” Pushilin emphasized.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said on September 14 that Kiev would not amend the country’s constitution to include the provisions on granting a special status to Donbass. He also stated that no amnesty would be provided for the Ukrainian conflict participants, although this was stipulated by the Minsk peace accords.
Earlier, the head of Ukraine’s delegation to the Contact Group Leonid Kuchma made a similar statement, stressing that President Vladimir Zelensky would not grant Donbass any special status.
When commenting on Kuchma’s statement, Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov noted that any decisions and steps by Kiev and Donbass should be in line with the Minsk deal, stressing that such statements were a direct violation of the agreement, thus jeopardizing the entire peace process.
He noted that this move was aimed at whipping up tensions in Donbass rather than achieving peace as promised to Ukrainian voters.
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