ISWAP Kidnaps Red Cross Staff In North East Nigeria State of Borno

A breakaway Boko Haram faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has claimed it kidnapped a Red Cross employee in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno State.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, the group said the aid worker was taken at a fake checkpoint on the road linking the towns of Kareto and Gubio in Borno on Tuesday.

It gave no details about the purported abductee’s identity nor made a demand or threat.

The Red Cross has yet to make any official statement about a missing or abducted staff.

ISWAP’s alleged attack comes a day after another Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for an attack on 28 November that killed no fewer than 43 farmers – the fatality figure given by the West African country’s authorities – in Borno.

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Boko Haram had dismissed that numbeer, claiming it killed 78 farmers.

ISWAP and Boko Haram are active in North-East Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

In September, ISWAP abducted five employees of Borno State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, a local government worker and another civilian.

The victims were intercepted and abducted at a checkpoint along Damasak road.

On July 18, 2019, six Action Against Hunger employees were abducted along Damasak road.

The captors killed one of their victims on September 25 of the same year, and four others on December 13, 2019, while the only woman on the team, Grace Taku, remains in captivity.

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Roads leading to and connecting Garrison towns have become death traps, as ISWAP and Boko Haram mount checkpoints to interdict civilians and humanitarian workers. They also ambush military convoys

In July, a total of 14 checkpoint incidents occurred, mainly in Borno State, up from five incidents in June, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The agency added that in August, the trend increased with 16 incidents recorded.

Since 2009, Boko Haram’s violence in the Northeast and the Lake Chad region has led to the displacement of more than two million people.

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