Testimony recorded in a private session between law makers and Boko Haram survivor, Deborah Peter, was entered into the official record of a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing that discussed “Boko Haram, Nigeria and Beyond.” Peter, 15, survived an attack in December 2011, during which three Boko Haram militants executed her father, a pastor, and brother in their Chibok home. A prelude of sorts to the mass-abduction of more than 240 girls from a government-sponsored secondary school in Chibok, Peter’s story speaks to the worst of Boko Haram, and it’s pattern of systematic targeting of Christians, especially in the country’s increasingly radicalized northeast.
05/22/2014 Washington, D.C. (WSJ) – After shooting her father and brother in front of her, Boko Haram militants placed Deborah Peter between the corpses, threatening to kill her if she wasn’t quiet. It was a day before the Nigerian army came to bring her to a hospital.
Ms. Peter, a native of the Nigerian town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were recently abducted by the militant group, told U.S. House lawmakers on Wednesday that she later learned that Boko Haram later decided it should have killed her. The world “needs to know how horrible” the group is, she said in written testimony recounting the December 2011 attacks in her home.
“They kill innocent people who never hurt them. I want the world to understand what happened to me,” Ms. Peter said.
The remarks, provided in person at a meeting with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, struck a chord with lawmakers who also expressed frustration with the lack of progress in rescuing the schoolgirls kidnapped in April. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) said no child should ever have to see their family murdered, and said the U.S. must move to eliminate Boko Haram.
“I want drones, I want something because they don’t belong on this earth,” Mr. Meeks said.