82 More of Our Girls are Free


82 Freed Chibok Schoolgirls Arrive in Nigeria’s Capital 3 Years After Abduction

9:19 AM ET

(ABUJA, Nigeria) — The 82 freed Chibok schoolgirls arrived in Nigeria’s capital on Sunday to meet President Muhammadu Buhari as anxious families awaited an official list of names and looked forward to reuniting three years after the mass abduction.

The newly released girls arrived at the Abuja airport and were met by the Buhari’s chief of staff, presidential adviser Femi Adesina said. The president was expected to meet with the schoolgirls at 4 p.m. local time.

The 82 girls were freed Saturday in exchange for an unspecified number of detained suspected Boko Haram extremists, Buhari’s office said in a statement.

This is the largest negotiated release so far of the nearly 300 girls whose abduction in 2014 highlighted the threat of Nigeria’s homegrown extremists who are linked to the Islamic State group. Before Saturday’s release, 195 of the girls had been captive. Now 113 of the girls remain unaccounted for.

A first group of 21 girls were released in October as Nigeria announced it had begun negotiations with the extremist group. At the time, the government denied making an exchange for Boko Haram suspects or paying ransom.

The girls released in October have been reported to be in government care in Abuja for medical attention, trauma counseling and rehabilitation, according to the government. Human rights groups have criticized the decision to keep the girls in custody in Abuja, nearly 900 kilometers (560 miles) from Chibok.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which along with the Swiss government mediated months of negotiations between Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram, said the newly released girls soon would meet with their families.

The ICRC also tweeted what might be the first public image of the freed schoolgirls on Sunday, showing a line of young women wearing shirts with the ICRC logo waiting to board a helicopter.

The ICRC said it had acted as a neutral intermediary to transport the freed girls into Nigerian government custody.

Long-suffering family members said they were eagerly awaiting a list of names and their “hopes and expectations are high.”

The Bring Back Our Girls campaign said Sunday it was happy that Nigeria’s government had committed to rescuing the 113 remaining schoolgirls. “We urge the president and his government to earnestly pursue the release of all our Chibok girls and other abducted citizens of Nigeria,” the group said in a statement.

The 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in 2014 are among thousands of people abducted by Boko Haram over the years.

The mass abduction brought the extremist group’s rampage in northern Nigeria to world attention and began years of heartbreak for the families of the missing schoolgirls.

Some relatives did not live to see their daughters released. Many of the captive girls, most of them Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without knowing if they would see their parents again. It is feared that other girls were strapped with explosives and sent on missions as suicide bombers.

A Nigerian military official with direct knowledge of the rescue operation said the freed girls were found near the town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon.

Boko Haram remains active in that area. On Friday, the United States and Britain issued warnings that the extremist group was actively planning to kidnap foreigners in an area of Borno state “along the Kumshe-Banki axis.”

Buhari late last year announced Boko Haram had been “crushed,” but the group continues to carry out attacks in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries. Its insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

It’s been a long time since these girls were taken from their homes and their village.  I am sure it seems much, much longer to them.  I don’t know exactly what tragedies they have survived, but I know that they have survived because they are courageous, and because they love life.  I honor them and their survival and now I ask for prayers for their continued healing, that they are able to make whole lives for themselves, and to move on from this terrible experience they have lived through.

It is my solemn hope that this kind of experience will never happen to a group of young girls ever again.  That they will not be kidnapped, taken from their homes, lives and families; that their lives will not be reduced to be owned and controlled by terrorists or warriors again.

History must never be allowed to repeated itself.

Victims of War and Trafficking


Hidden Victims Of War And Trafficking Revealed By Panama Papers

Panama Papers: An Incomplete List Of Perpetrators And Unseen List Of Victims

The Panama Papers rattled the world when they were released on Sunday. A massive leak of millions of documents exposed offshore financial records for clients around the globe seeking to hide bank accounts from domestic eyes. The Panama Papers now under the international spotlight have so far revealed that over 140 politicians from around the world have been involved with the Panamanian company firm Mossack Fonseca and networks of secret offshore deals that may have helped those involved to build fortunes.

Yet, the importance of the Panama Papers not only relies on the exposure of possible crime and corruption by world leaders, politicians, monarchs, and their friends and families. Tax havens, especially Panama, are well-known around the world. The offshore accounts are legal, but the Panama Papers have revealed that the legal accounts may be used for illegal activities, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and criminal activity. In addition, there are numerous victims behind these offshore deals. As stated by Al Jazeera,

“In a world of extreme inequality and massive social problems such as ours, the economic, social, and political effects of tax avoidance due to the existence of tax havens are enormous.” 

While workers and small to medium size business keep paying their tax obligations, world leaders, celebrities and business executives continue to pay less and less. Imagine how different many global issues would be without this money hidden away, but reinvested in the public. Think of the inequality, poverty, the refugee crisis, education, health, etc. TheInternational Consortium of Investigative Journals or ICIJ  (who closely worked with The Guardian, BBC and other newspapers in the exposure of the documents) also made sure to explain how these offshore deals affect others.

For example, it is known how barrel bombs and missiles have been dropped on civilian neighborhoods killing thousands of innocent lives in Syria. However, while the war crimes have been documented, the offshore finance behind these crimes has not. According to the Panama Papers, offshore companies have been accused of supplying fuel for jets slaughtering civilians in the Syrian civil war. And although many countries like the United Stated or the United Kingdom have called for bans on these companies, it is now known that

The 4 minute video done by ICIJ and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting use alleged real life examples to explain the impact of these deals. In Russia, for example, it is said that businessmen kidnap girls and make them sex slaves whom they will later sell to clients; one of the ringleaders is believed to have been a client of Mossack Fonseca. The company allegedly turned a blind eye to evidence of underage human trafficking victims. In Uganda, a country that faced a brutal and bloody dictatorship that has left deep scars in the society, and considered one of the poorest countries in the world, a company was helped to avoid 400 million in taxes with simple paperwork. The Guardian has also recently claimed that a British banker, Nigel Cowie, helped the North Korean regime to sell arms and expand its nuclear weapons program. The US sanctioned Daedong Credit Bank, the first foreign bank in North Korea headed by Cowie.

Yet two questions remain: The first one is why US officials have not made any public declaration on the Panama Papers. The second is why there aren’t any US names outed yet in the Panama Papers.

Could the revelations actually be hiding something bigger? Why have stories so far revolved mainly around Russian President Vladimir Putin, or leaders of countries like Ukraine, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and North Korea? Perhaps understandable, as Craig Murray has stated, if we considered the US-based ICIJ is actually funded and organized by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity, including funds from Ford Foundation, Carnegie Endowment, Rockefeller Family Fund, W K Kellogg Foundation and Open Society Foundation.

The US Justice Department said it is reviewing the documents and reports, looking for any US corruption or wrongdoing. It seems like that some in the US are holding their breath. And for good reason, as Mathew Ingram, senior writer at Fortune magazine, tweeted,

 “Editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung responded to the lack of U.S. individuals in the documents, saying “Just wait for what is coming next”. “

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Children are also profitable to kidnap and sell.

Children are also profitable to kidnap and sell.

 

You have to wonder what will come out next. Does America have a role in the Panama Papers and who is involved? Are American women and children being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves or labor slaves? We will find out.

 

More human beings live in slavery than ever before. It must end.

More human beings live in slavery than ever before. It must end.

 

Slavery - Human Trafficking

Slavery – Human Trafficking

This is Not the Way to Peace


kidnappedMissionary

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)

An American missionary in Nigeria has been kidnapped in what authorities call a “purely criminal” act.

Kogi state Police Commissioner Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi says five men kidnapped the woman from her workplace and are demanding a ransom of 60 million Naira ($301,500).

The Free Methodist Church has identified the woman as the Rev. Phyllis Sortor, a missionary based at the Hope Academy compound in Kogi state.

Kogi state is located away from the areas where Boko Haram operates, making it likely that the kidnapping is not related to terrorism. But there is also the possibility that an offshoot group could have kidnapped Sortor, or that she might be sold to another group. Police have not said if they suspect a certain group or band of criminals.

Sortor was kidnapped on Monday, Ogunjemilusi said.

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and the FBI have been notified of the incident, the Free Methodist Church said.

Sortor runs a nongovernmental organization that educates nomadic Fulani children, the police commissioner said.

According to her biography on the church’s website, Sortor is the financial administrator of Hope Academy.

“A special friendship with a clan of nomadic Fulani has given Phyllis the opportunity to open additional schools for Fulani children and their parents,” the website says.

The commissioner said five men scaled the wall of the school where Sortor’s office is and “whisked her away,” jumping back over the wall and fleeing to the nearby mountains.

Two of the men were masked, and they fired shots into the air to scare people away during the kidnapping, Ogunjemilusi said.

Meet a Child Soldier


child soldiers forced to fight and kill

Child soldiers forced to fight and kill

You may have guessed, I am taking an online course on Human Trafficking. I have known about this terrible crime for a long time. I haven’t known anyone personally that has gone through this. Of course, when women and children disappear, they might be dead or sold into slavery.

In my research I found a book. It is called, “To live and to Tell, written by a young man named Francis Duworko. This boy was taken from Liberia. This country was founded in 1816, as a place of settlement for freed North American slaves. There were many issues that centered around the different groups of people. 1980 was the date for its first bloody coup d’ tat.

The first Liberian Civil War was 1987-1989. Then there was a second Civil War which lasted until 2003. Many people were wounded, killed, raped and tortured.

Francis was born in 1982 in Monrovia, Liberia. He was abducted to be a child soldier when he was eleven years old. What happens to these children? Francis tells about children being made to kill their parents, or die themselves. Children are forced to rape sisters and other female family members.

Frances got out and surprisingly he came out of it an optimist. My sense from reading his book is that is rare. He wanted to make a difference in life and help other children get away. Many of these children are still suffering from what they experienced.

” Never let people suffer what you suffered, when you can help them improve their situation.”
—–Frances Duworko

Somalian boy soldier

Somalian boy soldier

Frances puts everything in a positive light. He now lives in Canada with his family. He advocates that if we think we can change the present situation, it can be changed for the betterFrancis encourages everyone to have a goal, a dream and to write it down and focus on your dream.

This is a small book, with a heart that is open and filled with compassion. He even encourages people to meditate on their dreams. Learn to dwell on the goal and not on the past. The past is gone, and can’t be changed. Live in the present moment to make your dreams come to fruition.

Save children from hell on earth. Stop the wars. Then these children won't be at risk.

Save children from hell on earth. Stop the wars. Then these children won’t be at risk.