Islamist militants abducted four aid workers in Northeast Nigeria
The incident underscores the increasing risk for aid workers in northeast Nigeria, where a decade-long conflict with Boko Haram, Islamic State’s regional ally has fueled one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Four aid workers and a private security worker have been abducted by Islamist militants in northeast Nigeria. In a video seen on Monday by Reuters, the hostages identified themselves and said they each worked for different organizations. With just their heads and shoulders showing against leafy plants outdoors, they named large aid groups Action Against Hunger, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and REACH. One of the hostages named Luka Filibus said the following, “I am appealing to the International Rescue Committee to come and rescue me.”
The abduction is also a sign of how dangerous the region has become since Nigeria’s military withdrew into garrison towns they call “super camps”, leaving previously safe major roads, much of the countryside and smaller towns unprotected.
Nigeria’s army has this year touted major victories against the insurgents, but recent attacks and the abductions undermine the claims. While the hostages did not name Islamic State or Boko Haram, they referred to their captors as “soldiers of the Khalifa”. Previously, captives have used the term to refer to Islamic State West Africa Province, rather than Boko Haram.