News / Africa

Nigeria Girls Missing, 11 Weeks After Abduction

Nigeria School Girls Still Missing, 11 Weeks After Abductioni
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Mariama Diallo
July 07, 2014 7:30 PM
It's been almost three months since more than 200 school girls were abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. The kidnapping made headlines worldwide, and several countries, including the United States, promised to help bring the girls back to their families. But as Mariama Diallo reports, the girls are still missing, and advocates for their return are growing frustrated.

Nigeria School Girls Still Missing, 11 Weeks After Abduction

Mariama Diallo

It's been almost three months since more than 200 school girls were abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. The kidnapping made headlines worldwide, and several countries, including the United States, promised to help bring the girls back to their families. The girls are still missing, however, and advocates for their return are growing frustrated.

Three weeks after the girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, demonstrations demanding action took place in many cities, including Washington. The hashtag #bringbackourgirls trended on social media, along with a photo of the U.S. first lady holding up a sign to show her support.

But nearly 90 days after the abduction, there are those who feel the drive and the passion to find the girls seems to have diminished. Omolola Adele-Oso was the lead organizer of a rally in front of the Nigerian embassy in Washington. She spoke to VOA via Skype.

"I think the unfortunate part is we are in a world of life-cycle news where everything is two days and it's out of everybody's memory," said Adele-Oso ."Right after the rally, the issues of Iraq and the rescued soldier from Afghanistan, all these things have been happening, especially in American news."

Some say because of the new demands in Iraq, the U.S. has scaled back its intelligence and surveillance mission in Nigeria.

Coalition partnership

Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby refuted that presumption, and he said that since the original surge of efforts, the U.S. has been joined by more coalition partners.

“Are we flying exactly as many flights as we were at the outset? No. But the same level of effort is being sustained now internationally by everybody,” said Kirby.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said the U.S. still maintains a significant level of cooperation.

“Obviously, the kidnapping, other attacks that have happened since then have prompted us to increase our assistance, to do more training, to do more to boost the capacity of the Nigerian military and of the Nigerian Government,” she said.

As days pass, Sylvester Okere, a Nigerian-American businessman and advocate, said time is running out.

"Some of these girls are already getting pregnant. These are someone's children. This could be my daughter. I have an 18-year-old and 12-year-old daughter, this could be my child, and this could be my sister," he said.

Violence continues

Since the school girls’ abduction, other attacks have taken place and more people have been kidnapped.

Adele-Oso said her group is planning another rally in Washington on July 14 and still holds the Nigerian government  accountable.

“Why is it that we cannot negotiate with Boko Haram? If it's money they want, give them money. Sixty more women were taken. Why is it so hard for the [Nigerian President Goodluck] Jonathan administration to do something?" she asked.

But as support dies down in some places, new people have joined the global campaign to free the Nigerian girls, like thousands of Filipino students who recently rallied in Manila.

 

 

 

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by: Zira Tari from: abuja
July 04, 2014 12:59 AM
We Nigerians are in a situation where Govt that suppose to care for it own citizens end up only respecting the wishes of his party Men 'n Women, it has no respect for the life of it citizens, it only has respect Money 'n Power. Our chibokgirls 'n entire northeast people are hopeless 'n helpless 'n greedy leaders from are watching 'n making their money with the life of it own peoples Oh what Shameful Northern Leaders!

In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 04, 2014 8:35 AM
We have nothing but sorrow and dread for what is happening to your little girls there,but that doesn't help your situation. My beloved nation, US, is being pushed back by Badluck Jonathan, as he is pushing back any of the most powerful nations in the world that can crush BOKO HARAM in just a few hours! The fear of harm that may come to the innocent may not be an issue for your people anymore since they have just kidnapped more and are getting stronger by the day! I'd say that ALL NIGERIANS band together and crush Boko Haram, toss Badluck out on his head! Your people will send a clear message to the whole world: mess with one Nigerian, you mess with ALL NIGERIANS! Boko Haram are not Nigerians, they are a disease, and the disease is spreading. Lagos is Boko Haram's destination, and somebody needs ot act now! Badluck Jonathan isn't!


by: Maribel Harmjanz from: Texas
July 03, 2014 10:46 PM
This is a tragedy, but we should never give up. Those precious girls, those precious women that are kidnapped, raped, tortured are our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, ourselves... We should keep on praying that they will be found, aa well as all the victims of human trafficking... Let's unite our prayers, let's support those who are struggling to find them...!

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