Women's Issues

How Is It Possible That 234 Nigerian School Girls Were Abducted And Sold As Brides And No One’s Talking About It?

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protest-kidnapped-nigerian-school-girlsOn April 14, armed militants stormed a dormitory in a Nigerian school and kidnapped 234 school girls. The same week that we were hearing a constant dispatch of the horrific events that had occurred on the South Korean ferry, 234 girls disappeared into the night and still have not been found. Where are these girls? Where is the constant CNN ticker keeping us abreast of their search?

The girls – aged 15 to 18 – were allegedly called back to their classrooms for exams in the middle of the night, at which point the militants from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram shuttled them into trucks. From the Associated Press:

The attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist network have killed more than 1,500 people in this year alone, compared with an estimated 3,600 dead between 2010 and 2014.

In the latest attack, gunmen killed a soldier and a police officer guarding a school in Chibok on the edge of the Sambisa Forest and abducted the teenage girls after midnight, according to authorities.

Some of the girls escaped by jumping off the open truck as it was moving slowly along a road, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Islamic extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves.

Efforts to search for the girls, by both military groups and machete-wielding parents have been fruitless. Machete-wielding parents. I think my heart just broke into a thousand pieces.

Samson Dawah, whose niece was among those kidnapped, called his family to update them on the search. He had to ask the elderly leave the room, “fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say.” From The Guardian:

We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants,” Dawah told his relatives.

Saratu’s father fainted; he has since been in hospital. The women of the family have barely eaten. “My wife keeps asking me, why isn’t the government deploying every means to find our children,” Dawah said. The marriage reports have not been confirmed officially, and rely on eyewitnesses.

A report out of Cameroon appears to confirm this horrific development – some girls have been married off to insurgents: “Parents say the girls are being given 2,000 naira ($12) to marry Boko Haram militants, according to Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum. This militant Islamic terrorist group, whose name means “Western education is sinful” has captured girls and sold them into slavery. 234 girls. This is a crime against humanity. Why is our country not helping in the search? Why are we not hearing stories of these pained parents? The world spent weeks deploying every kind of technology we could fathom to locate a missing plane that we were all certain had downed in the middle of the ocean. We have hundreds of girls – hopefully alive – and sold into slavery. Where are the spy planes? Where are whatever other type of intricate military tools we have that could aid in this search? Apparently, the Nigerian government has yet to ask for help.

“Nigeria should seek international help,” says Rep. Eziuche Ubani, who sits on the country’s house of representatives’ committee on defense. “The Nigerian armed forces are not in a position to defeat the insurgency in the northeast.”

Fed up by a gross lack of effort to save the girls, Twitter users from all over the world are using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to pressure the Nigerian government to act. I know how some people will respond, We can’t help everyone. There are tragedies everywhere. We are not the world’s security force. We need to deal with our own tragedies. It’s just so confusing to see what we – as humans, not Americans – randomly decide what deserves our pity, our rage, or our help. Am I wrong that 234 school girls sold as brides to militants is something that deserves worldwide interference? Outrage? Something?

I don’t think so.

(photo: Twitter)