More than a thousand ISIS fighters and their families surrendered last week, as Syrian and Kurdish forces besieged one of the terror group’s strongholds in Syria. Now other countries must make difficult repatriation decisions, especially regarding the families of ISIS fighters.
The British government faced outrage this month after 19-year-old ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s newborn baby died in a Syrian refugee camp, The Guardian reported. Britain revoked Begum’s citizenship this year and refused to allow her to return.
France repatriated five young orphans of ISIS fighters but said it would evaluate children with living parents on a case-by-case basis, according to The Guardian. A repatriation order is before a court in Belgium, according to Radio Free Europe.
Meanwhile, Tajikistan announced it will try to repatriate all Tajikistani children from Iraq and Syria.
“We’re planning to bring them home,” Tajikistan Ambassador to Iraq and Kuwait Zubaidullo Zubaidzoda told Radio Free Europe. In 2015, the country offered amnesty to fighters willing to return and renounce violence. —Julia A. Seymour
Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna state are suspected of staging multiple attacks that killed at least 120 people since February in the predominantly Christian area, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported last week.
During attacks on two villages in the state’s Kajuru local government area on March 11, militants killed 52 people and destroyed about 100 homes. Another attack a day earlier left 17 people dead in another village. At least four other similar raids occurred in the same area.
The majority of the violence followed a televised statement by Gov. Nasir el-Rufai, who claimed that more than 66 Fulanis died in an attack targeting the group. The National Emergency Management Authority disputed the casualty report.
In a statement on March 12, the local Adara Development Association condemned the violence, saying its community is “gripped by a fully funded and supported group of terrorists that have been wreaking havoc in our land for long, while those saddled with the responsibility of securing us deliberately looked the other way.” —O.O.
Iran has sentenced U.S. Navy veteran Michael White to 10 years in prison in the first conviction of an American in the country since President Donald Trump took office, White’s lawyer confirmed over the weekend. The 46-year-old faced two charges, including insulting the country’s top leader and posting a private photo publicly, according to his lawyer, Mark Zaid.
The motive behind his arrest and sentence remains unclear. White, a California native, traveled to Iran to visit his girlfriend and never returned. His mother, Joanne White, said she filed a missing persons report and found out about his arrest from U.S. State Department officials in January. His case further complicates relations between the United States and Iran, which worsened after Trump withdrew from a global nuclear pact and reimposed sanctions on the country. —O.O.