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Chibok Girls: ‘They’ve Changed Her Dress, She Looked Uglier Than at Home’
Nigerian Tribune ^ | 17.May.2014

Posted on 05/17/2014 10:36:39 AM PDT by nickcarraway

WHEN the girls appeared on the screen, parents in the small room at the Government House, Maiduguri dissolved into tears, a New York Times reporter, who was present while parents of abducted Chibok girls, during the week, watched the Boko Haram video reported.

But after several of them finally saw their daughters’ faces again in the video, they said their relief quickly gave rise to anger: The girls were alive, but they were prisoners.

“Her face was frowning and unhappy,” said Bashir Wattai, a tall, solidly built farmer who said he had just seen his 17-year-old daughter Mairama in the video. “She looked sad. I burst into crying and weeping.

“The other people in the room, they were all weeping and crying,” Mr. Wattai said. “It was just tears.”

Mothers of the missing schoolgirls wailed in anguish on Sunday as they waited for a visiting dignitary in the burned-out ruins of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok.

Four weeks of anguish have passed since the night when more than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram from a state school in Chibok, an isolated village 80 miles from this state capital in northeastern Nigeria. But on Tuesday, at the well-guarded government compound in the heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency, an unwelcome window into their children’s forbidding new world was opened to the grieving parents.

“I saw her. Yes, I saw her,” said Habiba Yaga, the mother of Hawa Maina, 18. “I did not know she was alive. But when is she coming back home?”

To her mother, Hawa looked alien in the robes the Islamists had put her in. “They’ve changed her dress. She looked — uglier than at home,” Ms. Yaga said, hesitating.

Mr. Wattai, the farmer, concurred. The new dress was disturbing. “Her normal appearance was changed for me,” he said.

The militants released their video to news organisations on Monday, providing the first glimpse of the girls in what has become a global search effort, spurred by a grassroots outcry on two sides of the Atlantic. The girls, some 276 of whom remain missing, are now bargaining chips for Boko Haram, which is demanding that the Nigerian government release its imprisoned members in exchange for the kidnapped students.

But while much of the world saw the girls sitting passively and compliant in the video, many of their families had to wait. One parent explained that there was no electricity in their village to enable them to watch, a poignant reminder of how poor many victims in the conflict here often are.

By the end of Tuesday, 77 faces in the solemn crowd of girls, newly clad from head to toe in somber black-and-gray robes, had been recognized, the state governor’s office said in a statement. The robes, revealing only the schoolgirls’ faces, rendered some of them difficult to identify, some parents said.

The government had arranged a first showing of the video in Chibok on Monday to identify the girls, but it had to be halted abruptly when the parents were overcome with grief, demanding that the government’s identification process be moved to Maiduguri.

“The families became upset and they started crying ‘this is my child,’” a senior state official said Tuesday evening. “They started shouting. They had to stop the filming.”

Then on Tuesday, the state government organised a group of about 15 parents, relatives and girls who had escaped the Islamists to make the arduous journey to the state capital to watch the video. They were guarded by rifle-bearing militia members from the village in red uniforms because the road is still preyed on by Boko Haram.

The group, along with teachers, officials and security operatives, packed into the room at the government complex and locked the door. When the parents emerged, their universe of anxiety had shifted. Some appeared dazed and perturbed as they slumped in plastic chairs on the grounds of the state-run hotel.

“She’s not feeling O.K.,” said Lawan Zanah, who had just seen his daughter Ayesha, 18, in the video. “The way she is sitting. She doesn’t even know where she is. She seemed sad. Sad.”

The girls had come to the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School to take their final exams, and many were staying overnight there. Armed and uniformed men rounded them up, loaded them into trucks and drove off with them. Although about 50 escaped, not a single one of the remaining girls has been found.

Ms. Yaga conveyed the shock, four weeks later, of going to fetch her daughter and not finding her there.

“My daughter was living in the school,” she said. “When I went in the morning to see her, she wasn’t there.”

Further identification by parents, Saturday Tribune was informed, could not hold on Friday due to the planned visit of the president which was cancelled at the last minute.

However, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media, Isa Gusau told Saturday Tribune that the exercise would resume shortly. He was not specific due to what he called security reasons as the parents would be made to be in the state capital.

The video may have provided some relief to the parents, but on Tuesday, there were no indications that the girls were any closer to being located. The Islamists are likely to be holding them in a vast forest of low trees that abuts Chibok, but so far Nigerian military efforts have been unsuccessful.

Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commanding General of the American military’s Africa Command, visited Nigeria on Monday and Tuesday to discuss assistance for the search, including surveillance aircraft and satellite imagery, as well as broader security cooperation with Nigerian officials, a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III, said.

“It’s certain General Rodriguez reassured the Nigerians that the United States is committed to supporting their efforts to find the kidnapped schoolgirls,” Colonel Caggins said.

The General arrived on Monday on a previously scheduled visit for talks with his Nigerian counterparts that also included senior American policy makers and diplomats, including Sarah Sewall, the undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, Colonel Caggins said.

The international effort, expanding last weekend as the plight of the girls captured the global imagination, appeared to be of some comfort to the parents who came here Tuesday.

Yet uncertainty and longing prevailed. “I just want my daughter to be back,” Mr. Wattai said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: bokoharam; nigeria; terrorism

1 posted on 05/17/2014 10:36:39 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Arm these parents.

Turn them loose.

2 posted on 05/17/2014 10:38:16 AM PDT by null and void (When was the last time you heard anyone say: "It's a free country"?)
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To: nickcarraway
“They’ve changed her dress. She looked — uglier than at home,”

May be a translation.. but that's an unfortunate choice of words.

3 posted on 05/17/2014 10:47:56 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: nickcarraway

And the winner of the ‘Caption the Mooch’ photo contest is..

“They’ve changed her dress. She looked — uglier than at home,”

4 posted on 05/17/2014 10:57:28 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: null and void

I would appear Michael michelle...she went off half -cocked on this one.


5 posted on 05/17/2014 10:59:47 AM PDT by Therapsid
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To: nickcarraway

At least they weren’t taken by Islamic supremecists...

I hate to be snarky but there’s just nothing left in me to get outraged anew with the administration. I hope the announcement that African countries will unite and destroy the Islamic threat is serious. There is one way and one way only Boko Haram can be dealt with. And it ain’t hashtags.

6 posted on 05/17/2014 11:13:31 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Organic Panic

FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE ^ | 5/16/2014 | Raymond Ibrahim

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute

Human rights organization Open Doors published its 2014 World Watch List in January, highlighting and ranking the top 50 nations that persecute Christians. The overwhelming majority of countries making the list—and nine of the top ten worst offenders—are Muslim, and include nations from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) and its contenders (Iran); from among economically rich nations (Qatar) and poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); from among “Islamic republic” nations (Afghanistan), “democracies” (Iraq), and “moderate” nations (Malaysia and Indonesia).

The report also indicates that every Muslim nation that the U.S. has helped “liberate,” including in the context of the “Arab Spring,” has become significantly worse for Christians and other minorities. Previously moderate Syria is now ranked the third worst nation in the world to be Christian, Iraq fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four receive the worst designation in the ranking process: “extreme persecution.”

Three of these countries—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya—were “liberated” in part thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom have been responsible for any number of atrocities—including massacres, beheadings, and the crucifixion of Christians and others.

Despite this track record of interfering in Islamic nations only for the human rights of minorities to plummet, and despite the fact that Syria has gotten dramatically worse for Christian minorities, Secretary of State John Kerry declared in January that, if only Bashar Assad goes away, “I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma‘ilis, Alawites—all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected.”

The same was predicted of Iraq over a decade ago, yet today, well more than half of the Christians are either dead or fled, after years of constant attacks on their churches and persons once Arab dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Libya offers a more recent precedent. Since U.S.-backed “rebels” overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (some for refusing to convert), their churches bombed, and their nuns threatened.

January’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Attacks on Christian Places of Worship

Egypt: Christian churches were severely targeted during the first month of 2014. Among other incidents, during New Year Eve church services, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked St. George Church in Ain Shams; one young Coptic man died from a bullet wound to the head. International Christian Concern reports that on Friday, January 3, Muslim Brotherhood supporters also attacked an Evangelical Church in the Gesr El Suez area of Cairo, “pelt[ing] stones on the church and chanting slogans against Christians,” in the words of a local. Reports indicate that “there was no security for the church building and that the attackers operated with impunity.”

On Sunday, January 5, security forces in Suez disrupted a terrorist cell belonging to the “Supporters of Jerusalem,” which was plotting to attack a nearby church during January 7 Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

Among other things, a bomb was found in the bathroom of the Three Saints Church in Beni Suef city, which was diffused by police. On January 10, security forces “arrested a bearded person in possession of four hand grenades in a handbag next to the Church of two Saints,” according to a local Christian. (In 2011, a suicide attack on the same church on New Year’s Eve resulted in the killing of over 20 Christian worshippers). On January 24, authorities found explosives inside a car parked behind the Al Malak church, which was targeted, “to be exploded,” sources told International Christian Concern. On Saturday, January 25, Security forces in Ismailia Security directorate found 26 Molotov Cocktails inside a bag next to the church of St. Bishoy in Ismailia city. Witnesses say that the person in possession of the bag of explosives was sitting in a car next to the church and that “he fled when he saw the policemen

On January 28, “A group of armed men,” reported Asia News, “attacked the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the governorate of Giza. Police responded to gunfire and one officer died in the shootout, while two others were injured.”

Malaysia: An unidentified assailant hurled two petrol bombs at a shrine fronting the Church of the Assumption. Only one bomb ignited, causing minor damage to the structure. This came in the context of anger at Christians using the word “Allah” to refer to the biblical God. “But the incident,” said Sky News, “stirred memories of a wave of such attacks on places of worship—mostly churches—four years ago during an earlier bout of divisions over the dispute in the Muslim-majority country…. Conservative Muslims have raised pressure in recent weeks for Malay-speaking Christians to stop using the word ‘Allah.’”

Nigeria: On a Friday in the Muslim-majority north, gunmen suspected of being members of the Islamic organization Boko Haram burned down a church and the house of a National Assembly member. Separately, in the midst of several Sunday morning raids by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, at least fifteen Christians killed.

South Sudan: During clashes between rebel groups and the recently formed government of South Sudan, Catholic and Protestant churches were attacked, priests forced to flee for their lives, and the whereabouts of a bishop who disappeared remain unknown. Some 600,000 people, most of them Christian, have also fled their homes amid reports of mass slaughters and ongoing attacks on churches.

Zanzibar: More than 100 Muslims stormed a church following an evening worship service and beat the visiting preacher. According to a church elder, “These rowdy Muslims were shouting and yelling, saying, ‘We are looking for the bishop of the church to slaughter him—we are tired of the existence of this church near our mosque and the noise they are making.’” The Islamic mob fled when police arrived—but not before tearing the visiting pastor’s coat and shirt, and causing him to suffer multiple contusions requiring medication. According to another church member, the “congregation has been living in fear for their lives… At the moment we cannot worship freely because we are being threatened. The Muslims are accusing us of making a lot of noise while they themselves make a lot of noise.”

Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

The rest of the history

7 posted on 05/18/2014 6:05:20 PM PDT by Dqban22
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