The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is making an urgent appeal to Islamic State's West Africa affiliate in Nigeria to release two healthcare workers who were abducted earlier this year.
“We urge you for mercy. We urge you to not kill another innocent health care worker who was doing nothing but helping the community in north-east Nigeria,” wrote the ICRC’s recent plea.
ICRC says a deadline that could result in the killing of one of the healthcare workers is less than 24 hours away.
The two nurses, Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha, were abducted in March along with another nurse while working in Rann, a town that serves as a home for refugees and a point of previous militant attacks. The attacks have impacted the medical care in the heavily targeted region.
Saifure Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, the other nurse who was abducted, was killed in September by Islamic State. The ICRC says it is working to do everything possible to avoid the same outcome for Liman and Loksha.
Nigeria’s government says it is continuing to push for the release of everyone who has been abducted by insurgents, including Leah Sharibu, a 15-year-old student who was taken from her school in Dapchi in a separate abduction in February.