What Would You Do if Your Sister Got Kidnapped?


Screenshot from CNN video

Gabi Caballero, Photo Manager

On April 15th, roughly 300 Nigerian girls between the ages 16 and 18 were kidnapped from a secondary school in the village of Chibok. The kidnappings have sparked many protests throughout Nigeria and even in Washington and London. About 52 of the girls have managed to escape.

The terrorist group that kidnapped the girls, Boko Haram, whose name translates to “Western Education is sinful,” has been increasingly waging a violent campaign to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria and has repeatedly said that western education needs to end.

Monday, a man claiming to be the leader Abubakar Shekau said “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” in a video that was first obtained by Agence France-Presse. He also said, “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language. He believes that girls should simply go get married instead of receiving an education. Some of the girls are believed to already have been sold.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the video “does appear legitimate.” This news has merely scared the parents of the girls even more. The Nigerian government says that the video will not make them work any harder or deter them from their search for the missing girls.

The parents of the girls had avoided speaking to the media in fear of what it could cause to happen to girls, however, the recent announcement that the girls would be sold has brought about their biggest fears.

Parents and others in support of finding the girls have created the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls to try and persuade the Nigerian government to work harder and to gain support from other countries.

The group says that they are “willing to consider” releasing the girls who have not been trafficked abroad and sold into marriage. They have reportedly said that three of the girls have died, however, they have not stated how. They have also said that 18 of the girls are sick. Boko Haram has threatened to kill the remaining girls if there are any military attempts to rescue them.

The Islamic insurgent group has executed hostages in previous crises when the military attempted to intervene.

The group is holding a list of the names of the girls and is refusing to give it up as it is proof of life.

On May 2nd, hundreds of women marched through the capital, Abuja, demanding the government secure the release of the girls.