Five months after they appeared in a video pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Government to ensure their safe release, four of the remaining five humanitarian workers with the Action Against Hunger abducted by a faction of Boko Haram have been executed by the terrorists.
In a tweet by independent journalist, Ahmad Salkida, the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) which is a faction of Boko Haram has claimed responsibility in a video showing how the abductees were executed. “All four are male humanitarian workers of Action Against Hunger abducted since July, 2019. The only female amongst them, Grace Taku, according to ISWAP, is condemned to life of slavery”.
He explains that “ISWAP claims the execution was as a result of breakdown of talks with the government. The government is not sincere and do not respect timelines, reports an ISWAP source. Taku’s fate is now the same with other Christian female captives with the terror group”.
As at the time of this report, the Nigerian Government was yet to confirm the execution of the humanitarian workers or react to allegations made by ISWA over “breakdown of talks”. In a statement issued from its Paris headquarters in France, “Action Against Hunger extends its deepest sympathies to their loved ones and our colleagues in Nigeria”
The organisation “condemns these latest killings in the strongest terms and deeply regrets that its calls for the release of the hostages have not been acted upon. Action Against Hunger is extremely concerned and calls for the immediate release of its staff member, Grace, who remains in captivity”. Action Against Hunger also “requests that the public and media respect the dignity of the victims and the privacy of their families by not sharing images or videos that may circulate on the Internet”
The international humanitarian medical organisation, MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res (Doctors Without Borders) has also in a statement expressed shock “by the killing of four humanitarian workers in northeast Nigeria, abducted in July 2019, and condemns in the strongest terms possible any form of violence against humanitarian workers. MSF also calls for the immediate release of remaining aid workers in captivity”.
It will be recalled that, on July 18, 2019, an employee of Action Against Hunger, two drivers and three health ministry personnel were kidnapped while delivering humanitarian aid to extremely vulnerable people in Borno State. The first hostage to be executed from the group was killed at the end of September earlier this year.
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