CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, the House will consider H.Res. 573, Condemning the abduction of female students by armed militants from the terrorist group known as Boko Haram in northeastern provinces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under suspension of the rules. H.Res. 573 was introduced on May 6, 2014 by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution was marked up on May 9, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.
H.Res. 573 expresses support for the families of the 276 female students recently abducted by Boko Haram and calls for the girls’ immediate, safe return. The resolution condemns Boko Haram for its many violent attacks on civilians and encourages Nigeria’s government to increase efforts to protect children seeking to obtain an education. H.Res. 573 expresses support for current U.S. assistance in searching for the girls and encourages Nigeria to work with the U.S. and other countries to resolve the crisis. This non-binding resolution urges the President to strengthen U.S. cooperation with Nigerian forces, including offering U.S. personnel to support efforts to locate and rescue the abducted girls, and to support Nigeria’s efforts to counter Boko Haram. H.Res. 573 recognizes the right of every individual, regardless of sex, to pursue an education without fear of discrimination. The resolution calls on the President to provide Congress a comprehensive strategy to counter the growing threat posed by radical Islamist terrorist groups in West Africa, the Sahel, and North Africa.
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram abducted 276 young girls from a boarding school in the northeastern province of Borno in Nigeria.  The armed militants overtook the soldiers and police guarding the building, forcing the girls into trucks. Reports indicate that the girls have been sold as brides to Islamist militants for the equivalent of $12 each. Beyond the recent abduction, Boko Haram has killed more than 500 students and 100 teachers, and has destroyed roughly 500 schools in northern Nigeria, leaving thousands without access to education.
The State Department designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013, due to its large-scale attacks against civilians, including women and children. The name “Boko Haram” loosely translates to “Western education is a sin,” and the group seeks to prevent the education of girls. The group has also targeted “mosques, churches, villages, and agricultural centers, as well as government facilities, in an armed campaign to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, prompting the President of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency in three of the country’s northeastern states in May 2013.” Boko Haram is one of a number of radical Islamist terrorist organizations and extremist groups that pose a growing threat to United States’ interests in the region. Nongovernmental organizations estimate that approximately 4,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks since 2011.
 H.Res. 573.
A cost estimate is not available at this time.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.