(Extensions of Remarks - January 11, 2016)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E28-E29]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, January 11, 2016

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, over the Christmas 2015 break, 50 
people were murdered and 114 others wounded in the northeastern 
Nigerian cities of Maiduguri and Madagali, Borno State, which is the 
birthplace of Boko Haram.
  Today also marks 633 days since 276 Chibok girls were kidnapped from 
their dormitories in the middle of night.
  Violence on the citizens of the world in sacred places such as our 
homes, places of worship, educational institutions and recreational 
venues is unacceptable and detestable.
  To keep the Chibok girls on our minds, all of us here in Congress 
have worn red every Wednesday to signal the urgency of rescuing, 
recovering and reintegrating these young women back into the arms of 
their parents. Sadly, while we grapple with the sore of the kidnapping 
of the Chibok girls, with horror, we watched on the news, violence 
wreaked by Boko Haram during the holidays.
  As we all know, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the 
  I have met with the Nigerian President and was part of a delegation 
to Nigeria to engage local leaders, activists, businesses and families 
of victims of Boko Haram on strategies for recovering and reintegrating 
the Chibok girls and many others who have been kidnapped or suffered 
violence. These senseless killings and kidnappings by Boko Haram must 
  The Chibok girls are not throwaways and the world cannot and should 
not forget them. Those who lost their lives during the Christmastime 
massacres have families and loved ones whose hearts have been broken 
because of the pain and anguish they must now feel.
  We must continue to press on in our concerted efforts to assure 
victims that Boko Haram will be combatted and assure our Chibok 
daughters that we still care and that we are committed to bringing them 
back home and will work to protect them and reintegrate them back into 
our community with open arms.
  As founder and Co-Chair of the Caucus on Nigeria and Co-Chair of the 
Congressional Children's Caucus, the rescue, return and reintegration 
of the kidnapped Chibok girls continue to be my top priority.
  I believe that with our commitment, just as the Aboke girls were 
recovered after being kidnapped in Northern Uganda by the Lord's 
Resistance Army, the Chibok girls will be rescued, returned home and 
reintegrated back into the human family.
  I am committed to the protection of the Nigerian people and it is my 
view that the people of Nigeria and others in the Lake Chad Basin in 
Africa should be afforded the protection they deserve and the 
opportunity to live their lives free of terrorism and fear.
  This is why I introduced H. Res. 528, legislation that enjoyed 
bipartisan support of my

[[Page E29]]

colleagues including Representatives Chu of California, Lee of 
California, Dold of Illinois, Hahn of California, Kelly of Illinois, 
Fudge of Ohio, Watson-Coleman of New Jersey, Sewell of Alabama, Brown 
of Florida, Thompson  of Mississippi and my good friend Ms. Wilson of 
  My resolution seeks to create a Victims of Terror Protection Fund for 
the protection of the Chibok girls when they return home as well as 
provision of much needed support for them and other displaced refugees, 
migrants and the victims of Boko Haram's terror such as those of the 
Christmastime 2015 massacres.
  All persons of the world from Syria to Nigeria to Colombia and 
everywhere in between possess the inalienable fundamental human right 
to freedom of movement and full realization of their human potential 
without fear of violence upon their person.
  Last month, in our celebrations of the United Nations Human Rights 
Day, the global community rededicated itself to the key International 
Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, 
Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and 
Political Rights, Covenants that serve as the bedrock of the 
International Bill of Rights: protecting the right of all human beings.
  Indeed, we must continue to fight for the freedoms of our neighbors 
whether those for whom we fight are out of sight such as the murdered 
and wounded in northeastern Nigeria or the kidnapped Chibok teenage 
girls or educated medical doctors fleeing violent extremism in Syria.
  The bottom line is that our obligations in the human family must 
revolve around and be grounded in our conviction and commitment to the 
rights to freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, 
freedom from want, and the freedom from fear or terrorism, among 
others. We must remain steadfast in guaranteeing these fundamental 
freedoms and protect the human rights of all to achieve peace and 
prosperity in our world.
  Mr. Speaker, those murdered and wounded during the Christmastime 
massacres included a lot of youth. When they were kidnapped, the Chibok 
youth were 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds who are now turning 
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18--living out the formative years of their 
lives in captivity in the claws of thugs.
  Our silence is a waste of time and this is why we must keep speaking, 
keep tweeting, keep seeking to recover our daughters and denouncing the 
atrocious actions of Boko Haram.
  This cannot be the fate or the end of the story of the lives of the 
victims of Boko Haram. We must not and cannot forget Blessing Abana, 
Deborah Abari, Rebecca Mallum, Naomi Luka, Esther Markus, Zara Ishaku, 
Ruth Joshua, Grace Paul, Rebecca Luka and the others. To the families 
of the Christmastime massacre, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
  To the Chibok girls, notwithstanding your captivity, let me assure 
you that your spirits, souls and bodies are sacred to us, no matter 
what attacks the enemies of peace may have perpetrated upon you. Like 
your sister from Pakistan, Malala, who was shot in the head for seeking 
her education and who continues to fight for your recovery, your best 
days are ahead because we know that when your girls thrive our world 
  So let me assure you that you remain in our prayers and thoughts. To 
President Buhari of Nigeria, you have our support and you have my 
support in all your efforts to destroy and dismantle Boko Haram. To the 
people of Nigeria, we are counting on you to keep holding on, keep your 
faith strong and be assured that you are on the right side of history 
and that the arc of the moral universe always tips on the right side of 
  Today, let me offer that it is important to denounce the actions of 
Boko Haram and recommit ourselves to the protection of the Nigerian 
people and the recovery of the Chibok girls.