A Nigerian aid worker last week won the 2017 United Nations Sergio Viera de Mello award for her efforts to reintegrate Boko Haram victims in northeastern Nigeria. Rebecca Dali in 2009 opened the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) in Borno state. The center cares for Boko Haram rape victims and their children. “As the communities resisted their reintegration, your negotiation skills and reconciliation efforts played an important role in their successful reintegration,” the award letter said. Rebecca’s husband, the Rev. Samuel Dali, formerly served as pastor of the Church of the Brethren, where many of the kidnapped Chibok girls attended. —O.O.
Aid groups refuse to sign new migrant rescue code
Several rescue groups working in the Mediterranean Sea refused on Monday to sign a new code of conduct seeking to regulate the persistent flow of migrants into Europe.
The Italian Interior Ministry drafted the code following accusations that nonprofits were colluding with migrant traffickers, a claim the groups denied. The 11-point code requires rescue groups to allow armed police onboard. It also prevents them from firing flares, which could update traffickers of their location. Rescue groups picked up one-third of migrants brought ashore this year, many of them along the route from Libya to Italy. Nearly 95,000 migrants and refugees have reached Italian shores this year, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.
Save the Children, Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station, and Spanish Proactiva Open Arms agreed to the conditions.
But other groups resisted. German-based rescue groups Jugend Rettet and Sea Watch called for clarity and argued the regulations negate their principles of neutrality. Doctors Without Borders, in a statement released Monday, said it would not sign the code as it included several commitments that could decrease the efficiency of its operations with “dire humanitarian consequences.”
Authorities said any group that fails to sign the code could be denied access to Italian ports. —Onize Ohikere