“million-woman” against Boko Haram (an appeal)

The Nigerian school girls abducted by Boko Haram apparently have been sold as slaves to jihadists. This is not exactly a surprise. A million-women march may help put pressure on a complacent government. But chances of recovering the girls (especially if they have crossed international borders) is close to zero.

We @ BP would like to appeal to our readers to highlight this important event on social media and hope for success in a difficult cause.
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Protesters
will hold a “million-woman march” in the Nigerian capital (Abuja) on Wednesday
over the government’s failure to rescue scores of schoolgirls kidnapped
by Boko Haram Islamists two weeks ago.
Angry Nigerian parents
lashed out at the government on Tuesday as a local leader claimed the
hostages had been sold as wives abroad.



The outrage that
followed the mass abduction has been compounded by disputes over how
many girls were seized and criticism of the military’s search-and-rescue
effort.
Borno officials have said 129 girls were kidnapped
when gunmen stormed the school after sundown on April 14 and forced the
students — who are between 12 and 17 years old — onto a convoy of
trucks. Officials said 52 have since escaped.
Locals, including
the school’s principal, have rejected those numbers, insisting that 230
students were snatched and that 187 are still being held hostage.

 

Mark told AFP that his wife has hardly slept since the attack, lying awake at night “thinking about our daughter”.

 
An organization called Women for Peace and Justice has called for a
“million-woman protest march” in the capital Abuja on Wednesday to
demand that more resources be committed to securing the girls’ release.

 

While the group is unlikely to rally a crowd of that size, support for
the movement has been growing on Twitter under #BringBackOurGirls.


 
Pogo Bitrus, leader of a Chibok elders group, told AFP that locals had
been tracking the movements of the hostages with the help of “various
sources” across the northeast. “From the information we
received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were
taken … into Chad and Cameroon,” he said. The girls were then sold as brides to Islamist fighters for 2,000 naira ($12) each, Bitrus added.

 

There was however no independent confirmation of his report and the
defence ministry did not immediately answer calls seeking comment.

 

Some of the girls who escaped have said the hostages were taken to
Borno’s Sambisa Forest area, where Boko Haram has well-fortified camps.
Locals have scoured the bushlands of the remote region, pooling money
to buy fuel for motorcycles and cars to conduct their own rescue effort,
saying they have no confidence in the military’s search.

 

“The
free movement of the kidnappers in huge convoys with their captives for
two weeks without being traced by the military which claims to be
working diligently to free the girls is unbelievable,” Bitrus told AFP.

 

Nigeria deployed thousands of additional troops to the northeast last
year as part of an offensive aimed at crushing Boko Haram, but security
experts say the military lacks the troops needed to fully cover the
region.

Dozens of Borno women clad in black staged a protest on Tuesday in front of Nigeria’s parliament.

 

Protest leader Naomi Mutah told three senators who received the group
that they did not know the whereabouts of the girls, saying some might
have crossed over to Chad. “Our grievance is this: For the past
two weeks and this is the third week, we have not heard anybody talking
to us,” said Mutah. “They are suffering in the bush. Let them (authorities) help us to free them,” another protester said.

 

In a motion Tuesday, the senate urged the government and security
agencies to seek the cooperation of other countries and the UN security
council in the rescue effort.

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