Africa

According to reports from Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped dozens of women and girls. The events throw further doubt on talks supposed to result in the freedom of 200 other young women taken in April.

Duetsche Welle - According to media reports, Boko Haram militants have kidnapped girls and women in new attacks in Nigeria's northeast.

The Reuters news agency interviewed residents in a town in Adamawa state, where at least 25 girls were taken. Parents who lost their children said the kidnappers came late in the night, forcing all the women to go with them and then later releasing the older ones.

Nigeria's The Punch news website reported that dozens of women and girls were taken from two villages on Saturday by suspected members of Boko Haram.

Read more: Nigeria media: Boko Haram kidnaps more women and girls

Human Rights Watch - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to immediately release funds to clean up lead-contaminated villages in Nigeria will save untold lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Releasing the funds clears the way for at least 1,500 children in urgent need of life-saving medical treatment in northern Nigeria to receive care.

Jonathan had promised in May 2012 to allocate $4 million for environmental remediation and safer mining practices to address what has been described as the worst lead poisoning epidemic in modern history, but no funds had been forthcoming. This week’s announcement followed a sustained awareness-raising effort by domestic and international organizations, including a joint Facebook campaign by the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network and Human Rights Watch.

“President Jonathan’s decision to release the cleanup funds could be life-saving for countless children,” said Jane Cohen, health researcher at Human Rights Watch. “After years of living in contaminated homes, children will now be able to live and play without risking their lives.”

Read more: Nigeria: Funds released for lead cleanup

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