The Nigerian terrorist outfit Boko Haram has offered the release over 200 kidnapped schoolgirls who were abducted from a boarding school over a 14 months ago in exchange for the release of multiple Boko Haram militant leaders who are being held by the Nigerian government.
A human rights activist who is close to the negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that the terrorist group's renewed offer includes only the release of the 200-plus girls who were kidnapped from a school in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok in the early hours of April 15, 2014.
Although the militant group kidnapped a total of 276 girls, some managed to escape and an estimated 219 girls remain detained by the Nigerian ISIS affiliate. The girls are believed to have been forced into marriages with Boko Haram fighters or trained to become suicide bombers. more >>
Today, South Sudan is celebrating its fourth Independence Day, but almost no one there is celebrating. Instead they are trying to avert a famine.
Last month I was at a nutrition center in the city of Kuajok in South Sudan where I measured the circumference of the upper arm of Riing Ayii, a 15-month-old boy, in order to determine his level of malnutrition.
With skin hanging off his bones the little boy easily fit the U.N. definition of severely malnourished. Riing's upper arm measured no more than the circle you could make with your thumb and index finger. I couldn't help but think of my own healthy 15-month-old grandson toddling around the backyard at twice Riing's size. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice has warned that "time is running out" for two imprisoned Presbyterian pastors who are on trial and facing a possible death penalty for their Christian faith. The ACLJ has also launched a letter-writing campaign for the pastors, and urged people to sign it.
"We have launched a massive letter-writing campaign to Sudan's new minister of justice demanding Sudan follow international law, ensure that these persecuted pastors can properly prepare a defense, and that the case be dismissed for a lack of evidence," the law group said on Wednesday.
"The more letters we send to him, the higher the international pressure. The higher the international pressure, the more likely pastors Michael and Peter will find justice and freedom." more >>
A Sudanese court has ruled that a young Christian woman must pay a fine or serve a one month jail sentence after she and 11 other girls were accused of violating Shariah law by wearing trousers and skirts while walking home from a church function in the nation's capital of Khartoum.
According to Sudan Tribune, only one of the 12 Christian girls who were arrested on their way home from a church service at El Izba Baptist Church in Khartoum on June 25 was ordered to pay a fine of 500 Sudan pounds, which is the equivalent to about $83. The judged stated that if she was unable to pay the fine she would be imprisoned for one month.
As previously reported, the women were stopped by police on their way home, arrested and taken to the local police station where two of them were freed without charge, while the other 10 were forced by officers to strip out of their clothes. The officers claimed they needed the women to strip so that they could inspect the clothes to determine if they were in violation with the law, an explanation that many believe is "hypocritical." more >>
The Synagogue Church of All Nations, led by Nigerian megachurch preacher TB Joshua, was indicted by a coroner on Wednesday of criminal negligence in a building collapse in September 2014 that killed 116 worshipers.
"The church must be investigated and prosecuted for not obtaining the relevant approval before embarking on the construction of the building," coroner Oyetade Komolafe said in his ruling, AFP reported.
"The church was culpable because of criminal negligence resulting in the death of the victims." more >>
A Nigerian pastor has said that he's grateful his daughter, who was one of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, did not convert to Islam and died "for the sake of Christ" when the terror group forced her to choose between her life and her faith.
"I was told that my daughter refused to change her religion. I was told that they dug a hole and buried her from the neck and stoned her to death," the pastor says. more >>