News / Africa

First Lady: 'Outrage' Over Mass Abduction

First Lady Michelle Obama's post on Twitter on abducted Nigerian schoolgirls (White House).
First Lady Michelle Obama's post on Twitter on abducted Nigerian schoolgirls (White House).
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama's wife Michelle says she and her husband are "outraged" over the April 14 kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. 

One day before Americans celebrate Mothers' Day, the first lady stepped in for the president to deliver his weekly broadcast address to the nation, expressing empathy for parents of the 276 girls who are still missing. 

"In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters," she said. "We see their hopes and their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now."

The first lady also spoke out against the Boko Haram terrorist group that kidnapped the girls. Its leader has said the group intends to sell the girls into slavery.

"This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education — grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls," she said.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh called the group "misguided" and said the militants had "shown their wrong path."

Separately, the top religious leader in the birthplace of Islam said Boko Haram has been set up to "smear the image of Islam."

Story continues below video
The United States and other countries have sent teams of technical experts to help the Nigerian government in its search effort.

"I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government's efforts to find these girls and bring them home," Mrs. Obama said.

Abuja criticized

Nigeria's government has been sharply criticized for its inability to rescue the girls, almost a month after they were taken. But a Nigerian army spokesman, General Chris Olukolade, says it has been a difficult job.

"Some of the information given has turned out, in many occasions, to be misleading and to be exhausting of the search teams," said Olukolade. "Nevertheless, this will not discourage the collaborative efforts that are ongoing."

Rescuing the girls unharmed is the main challenge, according to the director general of the Nigeria Orientation Agency, Mike Omeha.

During a Friday appearance with British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the kidnappers would fail in their attempts to keep the girls' whereabouts unknown.

"There is nowhere that they can take these girls to," he said, adding that he not be able to sleep with his "two eyes closed" until the girls are free. "They have no hiding place."

On Friday, Amnesty International said Nigerian security forces failed to act on warnings that began coming in more than four hours before Boko Haram attacked the girls' school.

The human rights group blamed the lack of action on an "inability to muster troops," due to poor resources and a possible fear of engaging with the often better-armed militants.

In another development, suspected Islamist militants abducted the wife and two children of a retired police officer during an overnight attack in northern Nigeria.

Local officials and witnesses told VOA on Saturday that the attack took place late Friday in Liman Kara. The town is in the region where the Nigerian government has been battling Boko Haram.

Witnesses say the attackers overpowered local security officials and then set homes on fire and blew up a bridge.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic Sharia law on Nigeria, has killed more than 1,500 people this year.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: saundra ann from: arizona
May 12, 2014 10:19 AM
How lame--the first lady standing and holding a sign in protest. Creative, to say the least.


by: AmericanHorseman from: America
May 11, 2014 9:45 AM
Outraged. ? What a shame these traitors are not even saddened by Benghazi but they are "outraged" at something in Nigeria. I wonder if these "people" have ever heard the word "Priorities"?


by: Anonymous
May 11, 2014 12:07 AM
I really wish VOA would do a better job of moderating their discussion boards. It's not about suppressing viewpoints; it's about keeping the discussion boards on-topic.


by: No US propaganda from: Bahamas
May 10, 2014 9:36 PM
How funny to see / What about killed children and humans in Ukraine by own army?! Shame on US double standards to the rest of world. US had started more than 100 wars and conflicts everywhere in the World for last 100 years.Peaceful country, no doubts. their motto- if u do not have a democracy we are going to built !

In Response

by: Ian from: USA
May 12, 2014 11:26 AM
100 wars !
I am all ears.
Would you mind list & number them one by one for the record


by: ali baba from: new york
May 10, 2014 1:40 PM
it is another wake up call. the Us Gov. believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. The us Gov. blame Bashar al Assad for Syria civil war but they do not blame the Muslim brotherhood for killing innocent children and targeting children and Christian. still the us Gov. has not classified Muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization.


by: johnnico from: USA
May 10, 2014 12:59 PM
This has been going on for centuries. When the Western Europeans started to colonize the African Continent, they split the land into "countries". The Reality, though, is that the African Continent was and still is tribal. And these boundaries still mean nothing. When the slave trade started in the 16th century, warring tribal factions sold of their enemy neighbors to the Portuguese, Dutch, English and Spanish traders. Who eventually ended up in South and North America---mostly South, though. Tens of millions. Today, in the 21st Century, these tribal disputes still occur, and, one of the ritualistic parts of these conflicts is raping and pillaging of young women. It has been happening for centuries.


by: Justin from: san diego
May 10, 2014 11:51 AM
Shes outraged about these 200 girls but what about the 200 children her husbands administration killed with drone strikes? Shes a Hypocrite.

In Response

by: Ian from: USA
May 12, 2014 11:41 AM
To Meanbill,

"you're right when you say, where's the outrage for all the hundreds or thousands of innocent men, women and children, and babies killed by the US killer drone bombs?"

your casual remark is a baseless accusation in disguise ,somehow, I picture you as one of those chinese communist agents who tirelessly accuse my country at every turn .

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 11, 2014 11:52 AM
the fact .drone attack can kill 5or 6 people maximum. for the calculator of menbill that 100.000 die as result of drone attack .this is a lie united stated army does not have the capacity of 20.000 drone attack. properly I forget the math which I used to teach, but my eyes and my ear watch the news . I see Muslim are acting as an actor and pretend hat they are victim ,and the fact they are the aggressor who kidnapped 300 girls. they force one million to flee from home in Syria . they kill children and rape woman but the end od the day they acted as poor people whom their babies killed by drone. we are not stupid to believe them anymore

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
May 10, 2014 6:48 PM
It'd be a nightmare for any father or mother to lose their daughters to kidnappers -- (BUT?) -- you're right when you say, where's the outrage for all the hundreds or thousands of innocent men, women and children, and babies killed by the US killer drone bombs?
Michele Obama was outraged and did say, "In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters" -- (and I guess the innocent girls killed by the US Killer Drone bombs), didn't look like their own daughters? -- Crazy isn't it, how people identify themselves with others, isn't it?

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 10, 2014 1:48 PM
why you do not radical Muslim for spreading hate message which resulted for civil war in Syria , Sudan .Lebanon. how many American soldiers killed by road side bomb. How many Egyptian flee for their lives from the violent against them form Muslim brotherhood. How many Christian girls raped by gang of Muslim fanatic. Do not cry for thugs who committed crime,


by: meanbill from: USA
May 10, 2014 11:33 AM
IF ONLY the US President didn't promise the African Union the US wouldn't use US Killer Drones in Africa, to kill African innocents, extremists, terrorists, or political opposition groups?
WHY? -- They'd be of good use in Nigeria now, wouldn't they be?

In Response

by: Phillip from: Tasmania
May 11, 2014 8:07 AM
If it was my daughter, i would decimate anyone or anything that tried to hurt her.. i would never stop, EVER. Im different i guess and not liable to the media dribble spread from mouth to mouth without knowing the actual Truth,. That the difference between someone with a global religion based ideology and someone corrupt as a human. Someone saying the education is bad and using it to video the response, is the sign of a true dog.


by: Juan Pablo from: California
May 10, 2014 8:59 AM
This is why feminism must defended in the world today. Too many men in too many cultures think they have a natural right over women (girls in this case) and that they can do whatever they want with this. This is a very dangerous mindset!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid