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ICC Note:

Boko Haram militants have committed yet another mass-abduction: this time, of 40 or so boys, ages 10 to 23. In April of last year, Boko Haram abducted more than 270 schoolgirls—more than 90% of whom were identified as professed Christians—from their secondary school in Chibok. In December of 2014, Boko Haram mass-abducted more than 180 men, women and children. And all throughout the course of its existence, Boko Haram has kidnapped individual men and women to hold them for ransom, train them to become Boko Haram militants, or enslave them as wives and servants. Often, those kidnapped are forcefully converted to Islam.

01/04/2014 Nigeria (CNN) – The Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 40 boys and young menages 10 to 23from a village in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, some of those fleeing said Saturday.

The terrorists arrived in the village of Malari carrying assault rifles and then preached to them about the group’s extremist ideology before forcibly taking 40 hostages and driving toward the Sambisa forest on December 31, villagers who fled to Maiduguri said.

It took days for information on this mass abduction to emerge due to poor communications stemming from the destruction of cell phone towers in previous Boko Haram attacks.This act, while horrific, is hardly unprecedented. Boko Haram has been blamed for numerous attacks, from assassinations of officials to bombings of crowded markets, in recent years as part of its quest to impose a strict version of Sharia law across Nigeria.

Mass kidnappings have been part of that campaign, most notably the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in April. There was talk of a ceasefire deal that would pave the way for the girls’ release, but Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau laughed it off, claiming that those abducted had converted to Islam and been married off.

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