News / Africa

    Nigeria's Boko Haram Threatens to Sell Kidnapped Schoolgirls

    Muslim women attend a demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue the 276 missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria, May 5, 2014.
    Muslim women attend a demonstration calling on the government to increase efforts to rescue the 276 missing kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, in Lagos, Nigeria, May 5, 2014.
    VOA News
    The Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Monday claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria last month and threatened to sell them, while protesters continued to press the government to rescue them.  

    “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,'' Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in the video, according to the French news agency AFP.

    Boko Haram on April 14 stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.

    The militants kidnapped more than 300 teens, Nigerian police sources previously had indicated. Of those, 53 reportedly escaped and 276 still are captive. An intermediary for Boko Haram said two of the captives have died of snakebites and 20 are ill, the Associated Press reported on Monday.  

    The teens' abductions have embarrassed the government and threaten to overshadow its first hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for Africa. The three-day gathering is scheduled to open on Wednesday.
     
    Nigerian officials had hoped the event would highlight their country's potential as an investment destination since it became Africa's biggest economy after a GDP recalculation in March.

    Protest leader arrested
     
    On Sunday, authorities arrested a leader of a protest staged last week in Abuja that had called on them to do more to find the girls. The arrest has further fueled outrage against the security forces.

    Naomi Mutah Nyadar was picked up by police after she and other demonstrators met with President Goodluck Jonathan's wife, Patience, concerning the girls.
     
    Nyadar was taken to Asokoro police station, near the presidential villa, said fellow protester Lawan Abana, whose two nieces are among the abductees.

    Police were not immediately available to comment on the incident, but a presidential source said Nyadar had been detained because she had falsely claimed to be the mother of a missing girls. Abana denied making the claim.
     
    In a statement, Patience Jonathan denied local media reports that she had ordered Nyadar's arrest, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria said.
     
    She also urged protesters in Abuja to go home.
     
    “You are playing games. Don't use school children and women for demonstrations again. Keep it to Borno, let it end there,” the agency quoted her as saying.

    Demonstrations continuing
     
    More protests were planned for Monday. These could become a major headache for the government if they continue during the economic forum, where security arrangements will involve some 6,000 army troops.

    On Sunday, Nigeria’s president said the government was doing everything possible to rescue the girls but admitted he didn’t know where they were.
     
    “Let me reassure the parents and guardians that we will get their daughters out,'' Jonathan said.   

    A father of one of the teens told VOA he felt helpless. "We cannot do anything," the unidentified man said. "... So what are we going to do? We just keep on praying and fasting. ..."

    Unconfirmed reports say some of the girls have been "married" to their captors, while others allegedly have been moved across the border into Cameroon and Chad.

    Boko Haram, now considered the main security threat to Africa's leading energy producer, has grown bolder. The kidnapping occurred on the same day as a bomb blast, also blamed on Boko Haram, that killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja and marked the first attack on the capital in two years.

    The militants, who say they are fighting to reinstate a mediaeval Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, repeated that bomb attack more than two weeks later in almost exactly the same spot, killing 19 people and wounding 34 in the suburb of Nyanya.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: F. Wakefield from: Moresburg
    May 06, 2014 1:05 PM
    These Arab/Muslim slave traders have been operating in Africa for centuries.....they see this trade as business as usual....Goodluck Johnathan has been a disappointment....the Nigerian army should be able to wipe these bandits out in short order....why does he not act? Must be Nigerian tribal politics to blame....we all know the forest they operate in....round them up!

    by: adeola from: lagos
    May 06, 2014 12:26 PM
    boko haram are just acting a script over nigeria in other to distract the government,their sponsors are coward fightin 'ant in an elephant posture'.i pray God will touch the heart of their commandant to repent ASAP

    by: Haslina from: Australia
    May 06, 2014 5:17 AM
    I am so ashamed to be call a muslim. I don't know how he can proudy said all those things and thinks it is okay to hurt innocent girls. What a monster.....

    by: John Shep
    May 06, 2014 4:55 AM
    Good gesture on the part of the U.S. offering to help Nigeria. But the crucial question really is: where is the government? Nigerian government? A government that receives over $100 billion annually in petroleum sales but has no effective police force or military. Ninety percent of that money is stolen and stashed away in foreign bank accounts. I am in support of the U.S. helping only because of the fate of the school girls, as otherwise I would have said let the Nigerian government deal with it themselves, if at all they give a damn. Unfortunately, the truth is they do not give a damn. Talking about help, the only way the U.S. should help is with drone technology. Don't give financial assistance, since the government officials will simply share it and return to foreign bank accounts. Don't bribe anyone that claims to have information.

    by: Tina from: America
    May 06, 2014 4:23 AM
    Those girls rescue should be the number one priority for the country! This is outrageous and if you want your summit meeting to improve your status prove you are not a savage, rescue those girls and forever protect them...

    by: Frederick1337 from: USA
    May 05, 2014 4:12 PM
    "In the case of religion, ridicule it, destroy it, create various sects/cults that distract people from true religion, keeping oneself with the DIVINE CREATOR, and create fake religious organizations." Not an exact quote, but pretty close, from Yuri Bezmenov A very high level KGB defector and propaganda expert lecturing on "subversion". http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE8g

    by: Peter Okechukwu from: Lagos, Nigeria
    May 05, 2014 3:00 PM
    It is about time Nigeria modernised it's security forces. In these past years, they have shown lack of grasp in this whole Boko Haram saga! For now, Nigeria needs help to get those girls rescued fast

    by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
    May 05, 2014 1:45 PM
    It is about time to state it deliberately that Islamist groups have become the curse of Islam. And it is about time for the Imam's and Islamic clerics to condemn openly those practices by Islamist militants that offend the mankind as a whole, as well as degrading the human dignity of woman. Prophet Mohammed has stated unequivocally that "the ink of the teachers are more precious than the blood of the martyrs, " on quote. Therefore, shooting girls for going to school, or kidnapping them from schools and rape them under the pretext of marriage, or sell them - as the Boko Haram said it intends, is not only a crime against humanity, but it is also a violation of Prophet Mohammed edicts.

    I have abstained from condemning Islamists over the years because some Islamist imams and mullahs have complained that we offend their religion. No, Gentlemen! I don't offend your religion. I am offended by how you have been distorting the tenets of Islam to treat women as domesticated animals. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

    by: Bull Winkle
    May 05, 2014 1:01 PM
    Let me guess, Boko was created by CIA to give US a pretext to invade Nigeria... A country with a lot of oil

    by: VS Dude
    May 05, 2014 12:42 PM
    The world continues to fear the effects of Christianity while allowing this atrocity to take place. Such blindness!
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora