Five Months After Abduction of Nigerian Schoolgirls, the Girls Are Still Missing

nigerian girls boko haram 1It’s been five months since the world was enthralled by the plight of the 270 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram — an act that inspired a social media hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls, that was used by everyone from concerned regular folks to first lady Michelle Obama. 

But after all the international pressure and outrage dissipated, what has happened to the girls? As pointed out by a story on the Huffington Post, not even one girl has been rescued.

In the days after the April 14 abduction, there were news reports that 57 of the girls were able to escape in the bush and make it to safety. But there’s been nothing since then.

There has been at least one sighting of a group that was believed to be the girls by a U.S. surveillance plane in June, but still no rescue.

Boko Haram sought an exchange of the girls for the freedom of Boko Haram prisoners, but the Nigerian government refused to go along.

Australian cleric and mediator Stephen Davis even accused Nigerian officials of sabotaging a deal, claiming some of them are actually funding Boko Haram. But the Nigerian government has said it would be too risky to try a rescue mission without endangering the lives of the girls.

Other countries that were initially involved also haven’t gotten far, according to the Huffington Post, which said the U.S., Canada, France, Israel and the U.K. have all sent special forces to Nigeria with no success. Announcing that the U.S. mission would be scaled back, a spokesman for the Pentagon said over the summer, “We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.”

In the meantime, residents in Chibok, the village where the girls were abducted, are still facing regular attacks and terror by Boko Haram. Eleven parents of the kidnapped girls have been killed or have died of illness. In fact, since the girls were kidnapped, more than 2,100 people have been killed by Boko Haram.

There was even a report in The Hill that the Nigerian government paid a Washington-based public relations firm more than $1.2 million to try to reverse the negative publicity directed at the government because of the abduction — but it doesn’t appear to be money well spent.


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