News / Africa

Nigeria Wants Help to Find Girls, Contain Boko Haram

World Demands Action Against Nigerian Kidnappersi
Zlatica Hoke
May 13, 2014 11:43 PM
With outrage over the abduction of close to 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants spreading — protests demanding action have erupted in several cities, mostly recently Paris — Zlatica Hoke reports on domestic frustrations over the government's inability to protect its own citizens.
With outrage over the abduction of close to 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants spreading — protests demanding action have erupted in several cities, mostly recently Paris — Zlatica Hoke reports on domestic frustrations over the government's inability to protect its own citizens.
Heather Murdock
As protesters gear up to mark a full month since hundreds of girls were kidnapped by Islamist militants, Nigerian officials are calling on the international community to not only help find the girls, but to develop a long-term plan to contain the insurgency. 

Wednesday will mark a full month since the girls were kidnapped.  
Protesters on Tuesday marched on the house of Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno state, where militants known as Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 schoolgirls.

The United States, Britain, France, China, Canada and Israel have offered to help find the girls.
But activists say that is not enough.
“There’s no point for people to be sitting down and creating committees and meetings and things like that. It is easy," complained human rights lawyer Sa’ida Sa’ad. "The commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Nigeria can just issue out a statement.  Tell somebody, command somebody somewhere to go into that forest, whatever that place is and get these girls out.”
U.S. officials say they are committed both to helping Nigeria find the girls and to the larger fight against Boko Haram militants, who've been blamed for thousands of deaths in the past five years.
“The scourge of Boko Haram has continued to spread to neighboring regions and it has become an issue that really has been highlighted in this recent incident as deserving international attention,”  Sarah Sewal, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, said during a visit Tuesday to the capital city of Abuja.
Some Nigerian officials say the kind of help provided by the international community in the past has not always been helpful.  
However, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Aminu Wali said his country could use the world's help if it's extended not only to rescuing the missing girls, but to the larger fight against Boko Haram.

“The sudden influx is more like a fire brigade situation where there’s a particular incident where the whole world wants to see it taken care of," Wali said. "Ah, OK, we’ll take care of that and maybe the world will go back again and say (it's) business as usual. It is not. I want to appeal to the international community, it is not."
Wali said the international community should work on a long-term plan to contain Boko Haram.  
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan asked lawmakers to extend emergency rule in northeast Nigeria. It was declared last May, after four years of insurgency, in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
May 14, 2014 5:59 PM
Nigeria save the children

by: Walter from: Cyprus
May 14, 2014 10:33 AM
The Nigerian president has failed in his responsibilities. He doesn't have a clue on what it takes to govern a country.He should be ashamed of himself. In other parts of the world, people would have called for his resignation.

by: abdulai from: u.s.
May 14, 2014 5:21 AM
I'm seriously troubled by the action of this group and I hope they understand that going after the dame people that they claim to be liberating is a bad idea. As a Muslim I am really ashamed that this group choose to carry its heinous crimes in the name of Islam. I urge the entire Muslim Ummah to help in any way possible to not only liberate our sisters but also help bring this meyhem to an end.

On the other hand the Nigerian govt is clearly not in control of this situation and the sooner they realize this and invite help the better it is for their people.

by: Ceye Okoye from: Americus
May 13, 2014 12:59 PM
It is quite a shame that the Nigerian government is asking for help to find the girls abducted by Boko Haram. Nigerians have lived with this problem for years and the government just let this group do as they pleased. The missing girls episode has exposed a government whose stock and trade is massive unprecedented corruption and looting the treasury instead of providing security for they people they claim to govern.

A country without electricity, water supply, roads and most importantly, no order. While always plotting to steal the country's money, their attention shifted from fighting terrorism. I wish the countries coming to Nigeria's rescue, start making demands from the government that care nothing of her citizens.While stealing, they did not realize that they have become the Africa's #1 economy. May this be an eye opener to the government of Nigeria which has abandoned her people.
In Response

by: Anny from: China
May 14, 2014 1:26 AM
I totally agree with your comment!
Nigerian government is terrible and bad!
They can't contain their people.
They should have a new leadership.

by: David Quartey from: Oakland-SF
May 13, 2014 12:40 PM
The Nigerian government should be seriously ashamed of ITSELF. I am wondering if the Nigerian troop contingent to ECOWAS is worthwhile, when they can't even contain domestic issues of their own(BOKO HARAM).

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs