Nigeria’s Stolen Girls

For a while after the abduction, girls trickled back into town — some rolled off trucks, some snuck away while fetching water. That trickle has stopped. “Nobody rescued them,” a government official in Chibok said of the girls who made it back. “I want you to stress this point. Nobody rescued them. They escaped on their accord. This is painful.”

The New Yorker’s Alexis Okeowo reported this week on Nigeria’s “stolen girls” — some 200 students who were abducted from their school in mid-April and who were reportedly already sold as brides to Islamist militants. Okeowo spoke to Deborah Sanya, an 18-year-old who escaped from the Boko Haram with two close friends a day after their initial abduction (“I thought it was the end of my life,” Sanya said). From the Washington Post:

First, the Nigerian military reported that 129 school girls had been taken from the northeastern state of Borno. Then it claimed that all of the girls but eight had been released. This soon proved false. Few, if any, had been released. In fact, parents said an additional 100 girls beyond original estimates had also been taken. In all, 234 school girls are today suspected captured.

Parents have grown increasingly frustrated by what they perceive as a feckless governmental response. Some relatives have launched their own search, riding motorcycles deep into the surrounding forests in search of their girls.

Okeowo also spoke to KCRW about the story today. There are two rallying hashtags, #BringBackOurDaughters and #BringBackOurGirls, on Twitter, but not much by way of answers yet. [New YorkerWaPo]

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