Women of the U.S. Senate Ask Obama to Push for U.N. Designation of Boko Haram as International Terrorist Organization
Female members of the U.S. Senate composed a letter Wednesday asking President Obama to pressure the U.N. for Boko Haram’s designation as an international terrorist organization in an effort to stop funding to the radical insurgency. With hopes of U.S. aid to Nigeria resulting in the location and release of more than 240 majority Christian school girls from a secondary school in Chibok on April 14 by members of Boko Haram, Senator Susan Collins is specifically calling for the deployment of U.S. Special Forces to Nigeria. The girls, reportedly being held at a Boko Haram stronghold on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, face potential sale to human trafficking rings, domestic and sexual servitude, and forced marriage, in some cases to their very captors. Promising to abduct more girls in the future with the intent of selling them into slavery, Boko Haram continues to carry out its campaign of terror for the establishment of a separate Islamic state ruled by Sharia Law on Nigeria’s susceptible Northern Christian communities on an increasingly grand scale.
05/09/2014 Washington, D.C. (Christian Science Monitor) – The demand of all 20 female US senators that the United States press the United Nations to add Nigeria’s Boko Haram to its Al Qaeda sanctions list is unlikely to do anything in the short term for the 276 schoolgirls the terrorist organization is holding captive.
But adding the Islamist militant group to the global terrorism list could be beneficial in the longer fight against Africa’s spreading Islamist extremism, some regional experts say. In recent months, Boko Haram has focused its vicious attacks on educators and students involved in what it considers to be forbidden Western-style education.
The Democratic and Republican senators said in a letter to President Obama Tuesday that placing Boko Haram on the UN’s list of organizations affiliated with Al Qaeda could help dry up the terror group’s international support and sources of income.
“The Senate women stand united in condemning this reprehensible crime and are firm in our resolve that it will not be tolerated,” said Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D) of Maryland and Susan Collins (R) of Maine in a joint letter signed by the other 18 female senators. “We will not stand by and allow the Nigerian people to continue to be terrorized by Boko Haram and will continue to lead the effort to impose tough economic sanctions against this group.”
On Wednesday, Senator Collins called on Mr. Obama to send in a team of Special Forces to rescue the girls, who are reportedly being held at an abandoned military installation in a remote forest and game reserve.