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ICC Note:

Wednesday, June 4, the leaders of the G7 (or group of seven, referring to its membership of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) released a joint statement on a plethora of issues, separated by country, as well as some more general human rights and international security issues. In closing the statement, the leaders once again affirmed their commitment to assisting the Nigerian government in locating, releasing, and safely returning more than 240 schoolgirls abducted April 14 by Boko Haram militants, who in the last 10 days have killed more than 250 civilians and destroyed dozens of churches. Read the statement in its entirety here.

06/05/2014 Nigeria (CNS News) – More than 50 days have passed since al-Qaeda-linked terrorists seized hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria with little progress seen, but on Wednesday night G7 leaders meeting in Brussels reiterated their support for efforts to rescue them.

“We condemn the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram as an unconscionable crime and intend do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” President Obama and the leaders of Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany, France and Italy said in a statement.

The statement, which covered a range of foreign policy issues from Ukraine to Syria, did not elaborate, but it did include a broader commitment to promote human rights, including religious freedom, and to end discrimination and violence against women, including “child, early and forced marriage.”

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau earlier threatened to sell the abducted secondary school girls – 85 percent of whom are Christians, according to the Nigerian government – as sex slaves or “marry” them off.

In mid-May a State Department-led interagency group including 16 military personnel from U.S. Africa Command was deployed in Nigeria to aid the effort to locate and free the around 280 missing girls. The Pentagon reported that the U.S. military was flying manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft over the area, which includes remote parts of north-eastern Nigeria and territory in neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

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