(Washington, DC) Today, Representatives Ann Wagner (MO-2) and Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2) authored a bipartisan letter with all House Women Representatives condemning the abduction of nearly 300 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria. The letter urges the U.S. government to push the United Nations Security Council to add Boko Haram to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List, resulting in more comprehensive financial sanctions against the terrorist organization.
“As mothers, we can’t even imagine the pain and anguish these families are going through as they fight to bring their loved ones back home,” said Representatives Wagner and Kuster. “While we commend President Obama for taking steps to address this issue, we must do more to stop these vile terrorists. That’s why we are calling on the Administration to add Boko Haram to the United Nations Al-Qaida Sanctions List to block the flow of money supporting this terrorist organization. We look forward to working with the Administration and our colleagues in Congress to stop the horrors of human trafficking both at home and abroad.”
The U.S. State Department has designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and has reported that the group has links to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
On May 6, U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led all twenty Senate women in sending a bipartisan letter to President Obama calling for similar action. Please see their press release below: http://www.collins.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=c0520b53-70e8-4d15-b01f-1145e73f1c36
The text of the letter sent by Congresswomen Wagner and Kuster can be found below:
May 7, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
The Honorable Amb. Samantha Power
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017
Dear Mr. President and Ambassador Power:
As women of the United States House of Representatives, we are writing you today to express our deep concern about the growing threat the terrorist group Boko Haram poses to Nigeria and the rest of the world. Several weeks ago, Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from a school in Northeastern Nigeria, and has threatened to sell the girls into sex slavery.
This intersection between the twin scourges of human trafficking and terrorism is extremely disturbing. Terrorist groups like Boko Haram finance their activities through criminal enterprises such as kidnapping, human trafficking and extortion.
We commend the Obama Administration’s initial steps to assist efforts to free the kidnapping victims. Unfortunately, the threat posed by Boko Haram and affiliated terrorist groups to the region and the world has been growing. Boko Haram has engaged in multiple attacks on Nigerian civilians, in particular attacking schools and universities without mercy or compassion. More than 1,500 people have been killed in violence associated with the insurgency this year alone.
We believe there is much more that the United States government should do to address the growing threat Boko Haram poses to international peace and security. We urge you to add Boko Haram to the United Nations Security Council’s Al-Qaida Sanctions List, the mechanism by which international sanctions are imposed on Al-Qaida and Al-Qaida linked organizations. While the Department of State officially designated the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November of 2013, Boko Haram’s addition to the Security Council’s Sanctions List would further curtail its terrorist activities.
We look forward to working with the Administration and our colleagues in Congress to ensure that no more innocent victims are hurt by this vile terrorist organization. As a global leader and beacon of freedom, the United States must use its influence to stop the horrors of sex slavery both at home and abroad. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Ann Wagner Ann McLane Kuster
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Here is the list of all 79 women cosigners from the House of Representatives:
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Joyce Beatty, Rep. Jackie Walorski, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Candice Miller, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Nita Lowey, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Rep. Lois Frankel, Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, Rep. Julia Brownley, Rep. Janice Hahn, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Karen Bass, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, Rep. Renee Ellmers, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Martha Roby, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Rep. Krysten Sinema, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Corrine Brown, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky, Rep. Susan A. Davis, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Kristi Noem, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Terri A. Sewell, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Rep. Gwen Moore