On April 15, terrorist organization Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, drove into the town of Chibok, a small farming town in northeastern Nigeria, and made their way to the girls’ boarding school. The girls, ages 15 to 18, were inside their dormitory. They awoke to gunfire, their school ablaze. The militants, reportedly dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, herded the terrified girls into their vehicles, telling them they would be taken to safety. Instead, they vanished. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>
How many girls are missing?
No one knows for sure, but estimates place the total number over 200. Original reports say about 275 girls were taken, but around 40 or 50 of them managed to escape. One, named Deborah Sanya, gave. The school’s principal said the , though the most commonly circulated number on social media is 234.
What has happened to the girls since they were taken?
Initially taken to a camp in the bush not far from Chibok. We don’t know much else or where the rest of the girls have been taken since. The leader of the Boko Haram claimed responsibility on May 5, and can besaying he plans to sell the girls “in the marketplace.” The videotape follows who said they had heard there had been mass marriages and that the girls were being shared out as wives among the militants.
Who are the Boko Haram?
Terrorists. A Muslim extremist group who basically hate everything remotely associated with the West. Case in point: Their name means “Western education is a sin.” Since their founding in 2002, they have staged massacres, shootings, and numerous coordinated bomb attacks around the country, notably attacking both a police headquarters and the United Nations headquarters in the capital city, Abuja, in 2011. Students and teachers are frequent targets. According to Amnesty International, in 2013 alone 50 schools were burned or badly damaged and more than 60 others were forced to close. Earlier this year,at a boarding school also in the northeastern part of the country. Since March, many schools in the area had been closed for fear of attacks. The school where the girls were kidnapped had only recently reopened, so final exams could be held.
What is being done to find the girls?
The families have saidto help recover the girls. Some of them even pursued the kidnappers themselves, but turned back. Shortly after the girls were taken, the , but that was quickly ruled false. On May 5 nearly three weeks after the abductions—Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan into the rescue efforts.
Is the U.S. doing anything to help?
The families are desperate for help with one fatherand/or put international pressure on the Nigerian government to rescue the girls. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Africa and has said the U.S. is “engaged and cooperating,” but no further details of the U.S. involvement have been released.
How can we help?
You can help by not letting this story disappear off the radar after all, the investigation announced by President Jonathan was announced only after this story gained traction in the media and on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to help encourage an international response.