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Category: Africa

25-year-old Ummu Kalthum is one of Nigeria’s most successful hostage negotiators

Chika Oduah, Vice »

Africa’s most populous nation is grappling with an unprecedented kidnapping crisis.

In its deadly campaign to carve out an Islamic caliphate, the US-designated terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, popularised mass abductions during its decade-long war against the Nigerian government, which to date has claimed the lives of almost 350,000 people.

On the 14th of April, 2014, less than two months after killing 59 high school boys as punishment for attending school, the jihadists stormed onto the campus of another high school in the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State and made off with 276 female students. They used the students, now known as the Chibok Girls, as a bartering tool to make demands – including the release of their fellow mujahideen in prison – from the Nigerian government.

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