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Resources updated between Monday, February 22, 2021 and Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 26, 2021

UNRWA flags (Photo courtesy social media)

Canada deepens probe into UNRWA's anti-Israel school textbook materials Article

Destroyed Boko Haram vehicles (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Gunmen kidnapped 317 girls from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria, police said in a statement Friday, the latest in a rising tide of high-school abductions across Africa's most populous nation, where kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative industry.

Armed militants broke into the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara state at around 1 a.m. Friday and packed schoolgirls onto vehicles or walked them toward the nearby Rugu forest, which spreads over three states and hundreds of miles. By morning, community leaders were still working to tally the number of people missing.

Ahmad Abdullahi, a parent, said that his daughter had escaped, but that five of his nieces, between 14 and 17 years old, were among the missing.

The abduction is the second in a little over a week in Nigeria's northwest, where a surge in armed militancy has led to a worsening breakdown of security.

Dozens of schoolboys and staff are still missing after being kidnapped from another school, the Kagara Government Science College in Niger state on Feb. 17. In December, 344 boys were taken from a school in nearby Katsina and freed after a week. Three of the abducted boys told The Wall Street Journal that the kidnappers told them a ransom had been paid for their release. Government officials denied paying a ransom and said the kidnappers released the schoolboys because the military had surrounded them.

There was no immediate comment from the federal government and no claim of responsibility. Analysts said the culprits were likely one of the heavily armed bandit groups that have become increasingly powerful across swaths of Nigeria's northwest, and not the jihadist groups based in the northeast.

"Kidnapping for ransom is now the most thriving industry in Nigeria," said Bulama Bukarti, a terrorism analyst and columnist with the Daily Trust, northern Nigeria's most popular newspaper.

The latest incidents come six years after the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in the northeastern state of Borno, an abduction that ignited the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The outcry led to the formation of the Safe Schools Initiative, which is backed by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and raised over $30 million to protect schools.

The number of children out of school in the country has risen to more than 10.5 million, the highest in the world, according to the United Nations. "One in every five of the world's out-of-school children is in Nigeria," the agency said in a recent report.

Some Nigerian lawmakers have called for investigations into the Safe Schools Initiative amid allegations of mismanagement, but no investigation has been authorized by the government.

Nigerian officials are split between those who favor dialogue with the criminal groups seizing the schoolchildren and those who favor a zero-tolerance approach.

President Muhammadu Buhari has quietly dropped his claim that the country's insurgencies are technically defeated and conceded that the nation is in "a state of emergency." The country, which has one of Africa's strongest armies and is a strong U.S. counterterrorism ally, is struggling to contain multiple threats: a 10-year jihadist rebellion, and swelling banditry and lawlessness that have metastasized into a conflict of overlapping militant groups.

After months of criticism over rising insecurity across the country's northern states, Mr. Buhari reluctantly agreed to reshuffle his military chiefs in January.

Shehu Sani, a former senator who studied in the town of Kagara as a boy, said the groups were targeting children because they yield the highest ransom payment.

"We are stuck in the most vicious cycle," he said. "We need help to acquire new technologies to beat this-and to find the children these people have taken."

More Than 300 Girls Kidnapped in Latest Nigerian School Abduction Document

U.S. Senator Jim Risch speaking in the Senate

"WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on Secretary of State Antony Blinken's announcement that the United States will seek a seat on the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term:

'I am disappointed that the Biden Administration is attempting to re-join the UN Human Rights Council before securing significant reforms. While I support the administration's efforts to make human rights a priority of U.S. foreign policy, today's announcement does the exact opposite.

'The council is a broken body that focuses a majority of its time on bullying our ally Israel and allows some of the greatest human rights abusers like China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela a seat at the table. Earlier this week, President Maduro of Venezuela was allowed to address the council despite the fact that he has been accused of committing crimes against humanity against his own people. Only true reform will bring legitimacy back to the Council, and the Biden Administration should work quickly to secure substantial changes.'"

RANKING SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE MEMBER RISCH: REJOINING UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL WITHOUT REFORMS IS A MISTAKE Article

February 25, 2021

Images from a Hamas terrorist summer camp

"Back in 2017, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., introduced a House resolution to prohibit 'US assistance to Israel from being used to support the military detention, interrogation or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.' It included a proposed budget of $19 million for human rights NGOs to monitor the treatment of 12- to 17-year-old Palestinian youth detained by the Israeli military. Two years ago, a similar bill was introduced and we have no doubt that dozens of Democrats will join McCollum in 2021 to push this narrative which paints a picture of Israelis bent on seeking out innocent children to traumatize with the butts of their rifles or worse.

McCollum is right to raise the issue of the safety and trauma of children everywhere in the world, including the Holy Land. Tragically for targeted and abused Palestinian children, she is willfully blind to the main perpetrators Palestinian adults, from genocidal Hamas that uses summertime to train child soldiers and to get children to fill balloons not with helium but with kerosene to float towards Israeli kindergartens, to the Palestinian Authority itself which spends more on its diabolical pay-to-slay Jews rewards program than it does on welfare for the poor.
...
Some of the main enablers of this sorry state of affairs, rife with danger for Palestinian children, lies within the nomenclature of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA.

Scores of donor nations have donated billions to provide health care and education for an unheard of four generations of so-called refugees. Its schools operate in the West Bank, Gaza, east Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Under the protective cloak of the UN, these schools teach narratives that turn innocent children into haters and child soldiers, encouraging kids to put themselves in harm's way. Palestinian children are serially brainwashed in UNRWA schools to believe that all of Israel was stolen from them and they sing songs about how one day they will exterminate the Jews and return to their families' homes.

..."

UN malpractice harms Palestinian children Article

February 24, 2021

A screenshot from a video taken as Iranians take cover and flee gunfire from Iranian regime forces.

Iranian regime shoots fuel traders in Saravan Document

February 23, 2021

Migrant workers in Qatar (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup Document

February 22, 2021

An Iranian ski resort (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Husband of Iran ski coach bars her from travel Document