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ISWAP Kills Humanitarian Workers After Failed Negotiations

The Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) on Wednesday released a video clip showing the execution of five aid workers the terror group abducted in June along Monguno-Maiduguri road in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.

The clip showed five hooded fighters standing behind five blindfolded abductees forced to kneel, with one of the abductors giving reasons for the appalling executions in Hausa language.

On June 30th, Daily Trust reported ISWAP was demanding $500,000 for the release of the humanitarian workers working for the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee, and a private security guard, providing security in a humanitarian facility in Monguno town.

The abductees in a two minutes video shared by the Daily Trust appealed to the Federal Government as well as their organisations to intervene and secure their freedom.

HumAngle gathered that the insurgents in the northeast are short of food and money because of the Nigerian government’s determination not to negotiate and make ransom payments to secure the release of victims of kidnappings in the region.

According to a top security source familiar with the situation, the government now has a zero-tolerance to any cash payments to terrorist groups.

“Since most of the families of the victims are poor who cannot afford the financial requirements of the terrorists in such circumstances the result is the kind of horrendous outcome seen today,” said the top security official.

In January, ISWAP freed five aid workers after they were abducted in December 2019, According to the UN, a total of 12 aid workers lost their lives in 2019, more than twice the 2018 total.

The decade-long violence has killed 35,000 people and displaced two million people from their homes.


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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