Nigeria: Bring Back Our Girls!

By Adotei Akwei, Guest Writer – originally published on Amnesty USA Blog.

On April 14, 234 school girls between the ages of 16 and 18 were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in Northern Nigeria by the Islamist armed group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which is opposed to any form of western education, has waged a brutal insurgency destabilizing different states in the northern part of the country at various points since 2009 with bombs, attacks on schools and the killings of thousands of individuals. Amnesty estimates that 2,300 people have died as a result of the armed conflict since 2010, with 1,500 being killed between January and March of 2014 alone.

Two weeks after the kidnapping, the Nigerian government has yet to communicate a plan or take action, even as reports of the girls being sold into sexual slavery or forced marriage are popping up on numerous news sites in and outside of the country.
On Thursday, the mothers and other family members of the kidnapped girls marched on the nation’s capital Abuja demanding action.

The girls must be released and the rights of all children of Nigeria to safely pursue an education, free from violence must be protected along with rights of all of the people living within the country.

On April 14, militants stormed the Government Girls Secondary School. They loaded scores of schoolgirls onto their trucks before driving away unhindered. The local authorities say 129 girls went missing that night, including 52 who have since returned. Some parents, however, claim a total of 234 schoolchildren were abducted (Photo Credit: Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).

In this terrible moment, we would like to tell the families of the 234 girls that our thoughts are with them and their daughters and sisters and that we will continue our work in support of protecting human rights in Nigeria.

Please take a moment to tweet and get your friends to tweet in support of the Girls of Chibok and call for their immediate and unconditional release, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Click here to learn more about violence against women and Amnesty’s work to end gender-based violence globally.