ICC Note: There have been several attacks reported against Nigerian Christians in the recent years. When insurgents like Boko Haram attack communities, their Muslim neighbors usually point out the Christian homes and the radicals end up burning their properties or physically hurting the Christian families. As a minority group, Christians are some of the most affected and brutally persecuted victims of Boko Haram.
04/13/2017, Nigeria (Deutsche Welle) – Oliver Dashe Doeme is the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri, Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. Borno State has a population of some five million of which approximately 2 percent are Catholic. DW has been talking to Bishop Doeme about the Islamist insurgency and relations with majority Muslims.
Three years have elapsed since the kidnapping of the Chibok girls. How difficult is it to ensure that their friends and families don’t lose hope?
We had been hoping that within this period – or even less than one year – that the girls would have been found and brought back. But up to now many of them have not been released. But we are hoping and praying that they will be eventually be released and will come back to their families, just as it happened last year when 21 of those girls came back and were welcomed and embraced by their families.
The Chibok girls are not the only ones missing. There are many others. Do you have any idea how many are missing and is enough being done to bring them back?
I have really no idea of the number. But I know that many thousands of our women and girls have been taken away by the Boko Haram members, especially from many communities here in northeastern Nigeria. Happily enough, a lot of them have come back, have been released, but they are some who are still in the custody of Boko Haram members. The number we do not know but there are still many of them.