Red Cross mourns death of staff killed by suspected Boko Haram

Pic. 8. Red Cross officials evacuating some residents of Yolde-Pate Ward of Yola town flooded by a heavy downpour on Friday (17/8/18). 04361/17/8/2018/ Yakubu Uba/JMH/JAU/NAN

The International Committee of the Red Cross has condemned the killing of one of its recently abducted staff, Saifura Khorsa.

It also appealed to the abductors to immediately release a second ICRC midwife and another health-care worker kidnapped in the North-east in March.

“We are devastated by the murder (killing) of our colleague Saifura,” said Eloi Fillion, the head of the ICRC delegation in Abuja. “Saifura moved to Rann to selflessly help those in need. Our thoughts are with her family and other loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

At the time of their abduction, Saifura, as well as other colleagues Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha, a nurse working in a UNICEF-supported centre, were providing essential antenatal care to communities in Rann, whose population has more than doubled after an influx of people fleeing the violence.

“We urge those still holding our colleague Hauwa and Alice: release these women. Like Saifura, they are not part of the fight. They are a midwife and a nurse. They are daughters, a wife, and a mother – women with families that depend on them,” Mr Fillion said.

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“Their families and friends miss them dearly and will not give up the hope of seeing them again soon. There is no ideology or religious law that could justify doing any harm to them

”Saifura, 25, was a devoted mother and midwife. Those who knew her said she adored her two children, a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. The children have not been able to comprehend their mother’s absence, as they frequently asked their grandmother if a passing plane was bringing their mother home. That grandmother must now find the words to tell two children their mother will never return.”

The ICRC did not comment on the identity of the women’s abductors (believed to be Boko Haram), their motives or the details surrounding Saifura’s death.

It said since the women’s abduction six months ago, it has made sustained and committed efforts to secure the three healthcare workers’ release, ”and will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that Hauwa and Alice are released and can return to their families immediately”.

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