One hundred kidnapped Nigerian school girls have allegedly been seen for the first time since their abduction in a video acquired by the AFP news service. The video was reportedly filmed by Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group who kidnapped over 200 teenaged girls from their boarding school in Chibok on April 14.
In the 17-minute video, the 100 girls wear veils and pray in Arabic; the video is cut with narration by someone from Boko Haram declaring that the girls have been “saved” by a conversion to Islam. (According to the Associated Press, the majority of the girls are Christians.) Boko Haram also reportedly kidnapped eight more girls from a different Nigerian village last week. The leader of Boko Haram has vowed to sell all the girls as wives, i.e. sold into sex slavery but recently said he would release the school girls in exchange for prisoners. [AP; Reuters]
First Lady Michelle Obama has joined citizens of the globe in calling to #BringBackOurGirls. The hashtags and photos ask for the release of the 200+ Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their boarding school by a militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, which opposes education for girls and women. Of course, this crisis needs more than just signs and tweets. But at least this sign-holder has the most powerful man in the world’s ear. [Twitter.com/FLOTUS]
Eight more girls have been kidnapped by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram from the village of Warabe, Nigeria, police there said yesterday. Three weeks ago, Boko Haram — who oppose the education of women and girls — kidnapped 200+ schoolgirls from a boarding school. Rumors are circulating that the girls will be sold into sex slavery to other religious extremists. In Tuesday’s attack, a villager said Boko Haram arrived inside trucks carrying guns and kidnapped the eight girls, ages eight to 15, along with food and livestock. [Huffington Post; Guardian UK]
The leader of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group responsible for kidnapping hundreds schoolgirls from their Nigerian boarding school, has vowed the girls will be sold.
Between 200 and 300 teenagers were kidnapped at gunpoint from their school in mid-April by Boko Haram, which opposes education for women and girls. Some of the girls managed to escape; the rest were hauled into the woods, where they have been held ever since. Relatives of the girls have been claiming the girls are being sold as sex slaves, which Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau all but confirmed.
In a video message, Skekau took responsibility for the kidnapping. According to the AFP, he said, ”Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married. I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.” No one quite knows where the girls are located right now, but they are reportedly being sold to religious extremists and trafficked to Chad and Cameroon, neighboring countries in Africa. Keep reading »
It’s been two weeks since 234 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school and they are no closer to being found. The kidnapping is believed to be orchestrated by a group of Islamist militants called Boko Haram (whose name translates to “Western Education Is Sine”), though they have yet to claim responsibility for the mass abduction. Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and is especially opposed to education for girls.
The girls, ages 15-18, were kidnapped at gunpoint on April 16 when militants stormed the Government Girls’ Secondary School boarding school in Chibok, in the rural northeastern state of Borno. Their school was the only one still open in the area; all other nearby schools were closed due to security threats. Despite the presence of guards, the girls were taken at gunpoint, loaded into trucks and carted off to the nearby Sambisa forest. Not much has been done by Nigerian security leaders to ensure the girls’ rescue, and their families have received little information.
It’s a tragic, gut-wrenching story that we wish was getting more international attention from world leaders. Here are five essential things to know about the kidnapping. Keep reading »
An Oregon man was arrested for kidnapping after he allegedly forced his girlfriend at knifepoint to go with him to Las Vegas and get married. Thomas Martin Pfeiffer allegedly threatened his girlfriend and their 22-month-old baby to get in a car with him so they could all drive to Vegas together. But Virginia Valdez hopped out of the car at a truck stop, lay down in the middle of the road, and started screaming. Now that’s a bride who does not want to get married. (However, I’m not sure I completely believe the story here. It seems to me like there are much more pernicious reasons to kidnap your girlfriend and child than getting married.) [Seattle Times] [Image of Las Vegas wedding chapel via Shutterstock]