Three years ago, on April 14, 276 schoolgirls were abducted by the terror militia Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria. 57 young women succeeded to escape shortly after the kidnapping, 21 pupils were released after negotiations on October 19, 2016 and two more were found by the army and vigilant groups. However, 195 girls are still missing. Most of the schoolgirls and their families are Christians and members of the Church of the Brethren (partner church of Mission 21).We think of each of the 276 girls who were abducted in Chibok three years ago. They have been going through a time of unbelievable suffering and distress.
We think of the thousands of women and men, who were abducted, enslaved, forced to become suicide bombers or were murdered in the last years by Boko Haram. We mourn for them.
We are pleased to know that the government succeeded in freeing some of the girls. We worry that only few of you could return to your families.
A big part of the territories occupied by Boko Haram could be freed. People are returning to their villages. But in the villages they return to – nothing is left. Due to persistent insecurity, violent attacks and forced eviction the people were not able to cultivate their fields. This led to a hunger crisis in the Northeast of Nigeria. About two Million Nigerians are moderate or severe malnourished and about 450‘000 children are acute and severe malnourished to a life-threatening degree. We hope that the emergently needed assistance will reach you quickly in order to save your lives.
We ask ourselves and the international community not to close the eyes in front of this immense crisis, but to act. We think of the people in the Nigerian villages who still live in fear and insecurity, threatened by attacks of Boko Haram. Together with them, we hope that terror and violence will stop.
We hope that the fighters of Boko Haram turn their backs to terror and extremism. May they get a chance to reintegrate into society.
We wish that all people in Nigeria are able to turn back to a life in dignity and security. We pray for them.