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Testimony to be Given Explaining Why the US State Department Must Officially Designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)

Contact: Kelley McLean, 703-503-0791, 571-293-6362, emmanuelogebeesq@aol.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 12, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- WHAT: Testimony on behalf of the Jubilee Campaign before the subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations (Rep. Christopher H. Smith, chairman), and the subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade (Rep Ted Poe, chairman), U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, about the continuing threat of Boko Haram and U.S. policy intransigence toward the on-going religious persecution and atrocities being committed by Boko Haram.

WHERE:   Room 2200 Rayburn Building, US Congress, Capitol hill, Washington, D.C.

WHEN:  November 13, 2013, at 1:00pm

WHO:  Emmanuel Ogebe, an international human rights lawyer and a U.S. Nigerian affairs expert, will share five critical points about the rising terrorist threat in Nigeria. Rep. Smith is the lead sponsor of H.R. 3209, the Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2013.  

Habila Adamu, the sole survivor of Boko Haram's extermination of all Christian males in his neighborhood in a November 2012 massacre, will be the first victim of the terror group to testify in the US.

The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State will be testifying on the hill before the committee for the first time since her assumption of this position.

Rep. Smith traveled to Nigeria to further investigate the situation and called for the Nigerian government to create a Boko Haram victim's compensation fund. Boko Haram was recently described as "one of the most vicious terrorist organizations in the world" by President Obama, yet the U.S. State Department has not designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).  This designation is appropriate and vital to dealing effectively with the threat posed by Boko Haram. According to the U.S. Department of State, "FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business."

In his testimony Ogebe will stress the following:

  • The U.S. State Department has denied the religious motivation of Boko Haram, which has repeatedly declared its goal of overthrowing the state and establishing a radical Muslim theocracy. To claim that religion does not play a role in the extremism exhibited by this terrorist group is disingenuous, deeply insensitive to victims and impairs US threat analysis.
  • The State Department has also downplayed the fact that Boko Haram has attacked U.S. citizens which potentially places more Americans including diplomats at risk.
  • The U.S. has lagged behind in humanitarian assistance;
  • Nigeria is a strategic security partner in the region and globally, and currently participates in nine U.N. peacekeeping operations worldwide.
  • Members of Congress of both parties need to actively support the enactment of H.R. 3209 to impose sanctions on the 2nd deadliest terror group in the world because of whom more Christians were killed in Nigeria in 2012 than the rest of the world combined

For more information contact Kelley McLean at 703-503-0791 or 571-293-6362 emmanuelogebeesq@aol.com.