U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today joined more than 40 Congresswomen from both sides of the aisle in urging the administration to continue support for the recovery of Nigerian girls who were kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria.

“Boko Haram is a growing threat, not only to communities in Northern Africa, but to us and our allies across the world,” said Rep. Noem.  “It’s sickening to see that terrorist organizations like this finance their activities through criminal enterprises, like human trafficking, animal poaching and extortion.  We must do all we can to stop the horrors of trafficking and put an end to Boko Haram’s brutal violence against innocent victims and deplorable views that girls and women don’t deserve an education.”

To better address the growing threat Boko Haram poses to international peace and security, the congresswomen also urge the administration to add Boko Haram to the United Nations Security Council’s Al-Qaida Sanctions List.  The Department of State officially designated the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013, but Boko Haram’s addition to the Security Council’s Sanctions List would impose greater international sanctions and further curtail the group’s terrorist activities. 

In addition to the letter, Rep. Noem is a cosponsor of H.Res. 573, a resolution condemning the abduction, encouraging the Nigerian government to strengthen efforts to protect children seeking an education, and commending U.S. efforts to hold terrorist organizations like Boko Haram accountable.  It also supports U.S. offers to assist in the search for abducted girls.  The legislation is expected to be debated in the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the coming weeks before being voted on by the full House of Representatives.

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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 with senseless cruelty and capricious violence.  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. 

Sincerely,

/s/

KRISTI NOEM

Member of Congress

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