The al Barnawi faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group has executed the second of three female humanitarian workers it seized in March and stated that the remaining healthcare worker and school girl Leah Sharibu will be slaves for the rest of their lives.
Midwife Hauwa Mohammed Liman, 25, who was working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and studied Health Education at Maiduguri University in Borno State, was seized on 1 March, along with fellow ICRC worker and midwife Saifura Husseini Ahmed, 25, and nurse Alice Loksha Ngaddah, a UNICEF employee. Their abduction followed an attack in Rann, Borno state, in which two humanitarian workers from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), one from the ICRC and another from UNICEF, were murdered.
In the video depicting her execution that was sent to the Nigerian newspaper, The Cable, Ms Liman's hands were tied and she was dressed in a white hijab with a crescent symbol on it. Ms Liman was forced to kneel before being shot at close range. In a statement explaining the execution, the terrorists said both she and Ms Ahmed were considered apostate as they were deemed to have abandoned their faith by working for the Red Cross: “for us there is no difference between the Red Cross and UNICEF. If we see them we kill the apostate among them, men or women, and choose to kill or keep the infidels as slaves, men or women.”
The terrorists also declared that from that day onwards the remaining hostages, Alice Ndaggah, a mother of two, and Leah Sharibu, were their slaves and that “it is now lawful for us to do whatever we want with them.”
Fifteen-year-old Ms Sharibu was the sole Christian among 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state. She remains in captivity for refusing to convert as a precondition for release.
On 18 September in which Ms Ahmed, also a mother of two, was made to kneel and then executed with a shot to the back of her head. In the video an unidentified terrorist complained that the Nigerian government had ignored written and audio messages, and described the murder as “a message of blood.” He also threatened her colleagues and Ms Sharibu with a similar fate if unspecified demands were not met within a month.
Ms Liman was executed upon the expiry of the terrorists' deadline. Twenty four hours earlier the ICRC had issued an for the Nigerian Government and communities and individuals with influence to secure the release of their colleagues. Mamadou Sow, head of the ICRC's Operations in the Lake Chad Basin : “These women were providing essential and life-saving services to thousands of people, displaced and resident alike. All they sought to do was to help."
Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s Chief Executive said: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Hauwa Liman, whose pain is unimaginable. We condemn this cowardly execution in the strongest terms. It is senseless, inhumane and cannot be justified on any grounds, let alone religious ones. Ms Liman merely sought to improve the lives of vulnerable female IDPs, yet her life, like Saifura Ahmed’s, was cut short by what is in reality a death cult. It is deeply disturbing that Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah remain in the hands of this profoundly nefarious sect. We appeal to the government of Nigeria once again to do everything in its power to expedite the release of Ms Ngaddah, Ms Sharibu and the 112 remaining Chibok girls, and to ensure the armed forces are fully equipped to address this insurgency. We also urge the Church worldwide to continue in earnest prayer until all of Boko Haram’s captives are set free.”