234 Nigerian Schoolgirls Were Abducted: Still Missing After Two Weeks

This breaks my heart (via Smithsonian):

Two weeks ago more than 230 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school by a local terrorist group, and as the search wears on, the Guardian reports, families are starting to lose hope.

As Smart News wrote earlier, the perpetrators are assumed to be part of a group of militants that calls itself Boko Haram, a terrorist organization tied to Al Qaeda. The group’s name translates to “western education is sin.” Boko Haram has been on a campaign against schools around Nigeria, though the group’s targets also include markets, churches, mosques and other public places.

It’s been 14 days since the girls went missing and no progress has been made on tracking their whereabouts, either by the military or by groups of machete-wielding parents searching through the countryside. The search for the kidnapped girls also has been muddled by misinformation. In the immediate wake of the kidnapping, says BuzzFeed reporterJina Moore, the Nigerian military claimed to have found and freed the girls and captured one of the terrorists involved—a claim that was proven wrong and ultimately retracted. And, according to a report by Voice of America, the Boko Haram terrorists are threatening to kill the girls if the search operations aren’t called off.

Northeastern Nigeria has been in a state of emergency for a year, writes the Guardian. The school from which the 234 girls (from 15 to 18 years old) were kidnapped was the only one still open in the region. The girls had been called back to class to sit an exam.

The evil that is behind this….

These girls were simply trying to get an education.  I have so many questions about it all, but I know there aren’t any answers.

I was JUST about to publish this post but was looking for a picture to attach to it…and I came across some updates (via Fox News):

LAGOS, Nigeria –  Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday.

Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts.

“The latest reports are that they have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad,” Aliyu said. It was not possible to immediately verify the reports.

About 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape from the captors in the first days after their abduction, but some 220 remain missing, according to the principal of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Asabe Kwambura. They are between 16 and 18 years old and had been recalled to the school to write a physics exam.

The mass kidnapping came hours after a massive explosion in Abuja, the capital in the center of the country, killed at least 75 people and wounded 141.

The Nigerian government (and military) is being highly criticized for their inability to do anything about all of this.

Without knowing a whole lot about what’s going on with all of this, I would have to say the criticism is warranted given the concerns I have read about.

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