Nigerian midwife killed by militants is mourned, Red Cross says it refused to pay ransom

A view shows a table that was set up with a photo of Hauwa Mohammed Liman, a health worker abducted and murdered by her Islamist captors in Nigeria, along with a white orchid, burning candle and signing asking staff to leave condolence messages for her family, at the entrance of the ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland October 16, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – The family and colleagues of a Nigerian aid worker who was killed by her Islamist militant kidnappers mourned her death on Tuesday as the Red Cross said it had refused to pay a ransom for her release.

The Nigerian government said on Monday a medical aid worker held hostage by Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) militants was killed after a deadline they had set expired.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) later named her as 24-year-old midwife Hauwa Mohammed Liman, who worked in a hospital supported by the Geneva-based aid agency.

But the organization had decided not to pay a ransom as it would set a dangerous precedent for the 16,000 aid workers it deploys worldwide, Patricia Danzi, ICRC regional director for Africa, told Reuters.

“We are a humanitarian organization so we cannot enter into such kind of negotiations. So we always ask for unconditional release. And that’s what we did. That was the plea,” she said.

The agency had issued a public appeal to her captors at the weekend to spare her life after a threat was received.

The slain aid worker’s father, Mohammed Liman, told Reuters that his daughter wanted to serve humanity and that was why she went to a remote area like Rann.

“At the time she was going, I said you should go and treat the people over there, and just after 10 days she was abducted. It is now seven months and 16 days only to be told that yesterday she was executed by the insurgents.”

Liman and two other Nigerian aid workers, Alice Loksha and Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, were working in Rann when they were kidnapped by ISWA in March.

Khorsa, also a midwife, was killed in September. Loksha, employed by a UNICEF-supported center, remains a captive, along with Leah Sharibu, a 15-year-old Nigerian student abducted by the group in a separate incident in February.

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