Today CNN reports that the number of abducted Nigerian school girls has climbed to 276. Over 300 girls were originally kidnapped on April 14th, but some of them were able to escape. According to CNN:
Girls who have escaped say their captors identified themselves as fighters in the Boko Haram terrorist network, though the extremists have not claimed responsibility for the abductions.
Boko Haram — the name means “Western education is sinful” — believes Western influences have corrupted their society and only an Islamic state can restore purity to Africa’s most populous nation of about 170 million people, divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians.
To make things worse, Face2Face Africa reports that:
Village elder Pogo Bitrus told Agence France Presse locals had consulted with “various sources” in the nation’s forested northeast. “From the information we received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were taken… into Chad and Cameroon,” he said, adding that each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12.
The Nigerian President publicly mentioned the incident yesterday for the first time. I believe this means they are feeling the heat, and we all have a responsibility to increase that pressure and move Nigeria, the US, and other nations to take action.
Malala, being the rockstar she is, has used her public image to garner attention to the issue as well.
Face2Face Africa provides another perspective.
Hopefully more local news outlets will start picking up the story as outrage grows louder.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- You can participate in online activism via the #BringBackOurGirls twitter campaign
- You can sign the online petition at Change.org.
- You can contact your own representatives and make sure they are aware of the issue
- You can share this story with everyone you know!
We can use our voices!