WASHINGTON D.C.— The United States Senate passed bipartisan legislation today introduced by U.S. Senator Susan Collins aimed at stopping the spread of the terrorist organization Boko Haram. Boko Haram continues to commit terrible acts of brutal violence against civilians in Nigeria as well as in Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, and Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
“This bipartisan legislation signals a renewed congressional commitment to pursuing Boko Haram and bolstering U.S. efforts throughout the region. The already dire situation there will continue to worsen if the current trajectory is not significantly altered,” Senator Collins stated. “By definition, Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden. We must never forget that the girls of Nigeria were targeted simply because they chose to pursue an education.”
Last year, in response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the 276 school girls in Nigeria, Senator Collins, joined by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), led all twenty women Senators in urging Secretary Kerry to seek Boko Haram’s addition to the United Nation’s al-Qaeda Sanctions List. Following this letter, the United Nations Security Council voted to subject Boko Haram to a complete asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.
Co-sponsors include eighteen Senators: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patty Murray (R-WA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), David Vitter (R-LA), and James Inhofe (R-OK).