100 Days a Slave: The Christian Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram
Today marks the 100th day that 276 schoolgirls from Chibok have been held captive by the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram. It also marks the 100th day during which Nigeria, its neighbors, allies, and the United States, a strategic partner of Nigeria, have failed to locate or rescue the girls.
Most of the girls, it is feared, have been forced into sex slavery. On May 30th it was reported that two of the kidnapped girls were found tied to a tree, raped and half-dead. Four other girls had been killed for being “stubborn and uncooperative.” A handful have escaped.
On the night of April 14th, Boko Haram jihadists swept into the campus of the Government Secondary School near the city of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. According to some accounts, when the members of Boko Haram first arrived at the school they asked where the male students were.
In a previous attack on a boys school, Boko Haram had demanded that the boys drop their pants; Boko Haram cut the throats of those with pubic hair, (?who had reached puberty) and left those who had not, thus following the stricture that ?they do not kill "children."
In that attack at the Federal College of Buni Yadi on February 24, 50 boys between the ages of 11 and 18 were killed.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, posted a video online in which he said, “Slavery is allowed in my religion, and I shall capture people and make them slaves.” The girls have allegedly been sold as brides to members of Boko Haram for $12.50 each. Now there are reports that some of the girls are pregnant.
Human Rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe (far right) outside the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, marking the 100th day of captivity of the Chibok schoolgirls.
Protestors gathered today outside the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC to mark the 100th day since the girls’ abduction. Human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe said, “Boko Haram is waging a relentless war against Nigeria’s Christians and the world is doing nothing to stop it. The abduction of these innocent schoolgirls is a tragedy that has upset millions across the globe, and yet our governments are incapable of rescuing them.”
The Nigerian Armed Forces admitted to having had four hours’ advance notice of the abduction but claimed they were unable to mobilize forces to protect the girls. Two days ago, on July 22nd, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with a few of the abducted schoolgirls who had managed to escape. But he remains widely criticized by Nigerians and by citizens around the globe for his government’s incompetence in locating and rescuing the girls. President Jonathan is expected to be in Washington in early August for the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit.
Katie Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security. Follow her on Twitter @katharinegorka.