More on the 200 School Girls Missing in Nigeria and How You Can Help

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#BringBackOurGirls - More than two weeks ago, Nigerian militant group Boko Haram (which translates to "western education forbidden") abducted 200 girls from a school in the town of Chibok in Nigeria. Now the girls have been taken as brides by militants. Western media has largely ignored the story, but here are a few resources to keep you informed.

Why Fear Boko Haram by Eliza Griswold
Monday marks two weeks since the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has been holding up to 191 teenage girls hostage with total impunity in the Sambisa Forest. The girls, aged mostly between 16 and 18 years old, haven’t been heard from since April 14, the night before their final exam at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok when they woke to the sound of gunmen bashing in windows and setting fire to their classrooms. Within hours, 234 of them were herded into trucks headed for the jungle. As many as 43 managed to escape. Some swung down from trucks in the slow-moving convoy; others ran off when they reached the forest.
Continue reading at Slate

Nigeria's Stolen Girls by Alexis Okeowo
“I thought it was the end of my life,” Deborah Sanya told me by phone on Monday from Chibok, a tiny town of farmers in northeastern Nigeria. “There were many, many of them.” Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped Sanya and at least two hundred of her classmates from a girls’ secondary school in Chibok more than two weeks ago. Sanya, along with two friends, escaped. So did forty others. The rest have vanished, and their families have not heard any word of them since.

Sanya is eighteen years old and was taking her final exams before graduation. Many of the schools in towns around Chibok, in the state of Borno, had been shuttered. Boko Haram attacks at other schools—like a recent massacre of fifty-nine schoolboys in neighboring Yobe state—had prompted the mass closure. But local education officials decided to briefly reopen the Chibok school for exams. On the night of the abduction, militants showed up at the boarding school dressed in Nigerian military uniforms. They told the girls that they were there to take them to safety. “They said, ‘Don’t worry. Nothing will happen to you,’ ” Sanya told me. The men took food and other supplies from the school and then set the building on fire. They herded the girls into trucks and onto motorcycles. At first, the girls, while alarmed and nervous, believed that they were in safe hands. When the men started shooting their guns into the air and shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Sanya told me, she realized that the men were not who they said they were. She started begging God for help; she watched several girls jump out of the truck that they were in.

Continue reading at The New Yorker

Women to stage one million women march for release of Chibok school girls by By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Women all over the country will on Wednesday staged a one million women march in Abuja to press for the release of secondary school girls kidnapped in Chibok town by suspected insurgents two weeks ago.

Prof. Hauwa Abdu Biu disclosed this yesterday during an emergency meeting convened by the first lady of Borno, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima on the way forward for the release of the school girls.

She had last week spoke on behalf of coalitions of Borno women in which they call for the release of the school girls and offer to go to the Sambisa Forest in search of the school girls.

Prof Biu informed the meeting that the one million march which was tagged “Free our girls” will involve women all over the country and called for the mobilization of Borno women to Abuja for the rally.
Continue Reading at Vanguard

I've found myself feeling helpless about what I can do as an American to help the situation, but we can spread awareness and keep the conversation going by using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag or by signing this petition calling for the UN to work with the Nigerian government to bring back the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The #BringBackOurGirls Facebook page is posting updates from various media outlets.

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