feature: #bringbackourgirls – hundreds of nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped

May 5, 2014

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by extremist group Boko Haram. Why is it taking so long for this story to get major coverage, and for an international effort to take place? In an op-ed piece for cnn.com, Frida Ghitis writes: “If it had happened anywhere else, this would be the world’s biggest story. More than 230 girls disappeared, captured by members of a brutal terrorist group in the dead of night. Their parents are desperate and anguished, angry that their government is not doing enough. The rest of the world is paying little attention. (…) The latest reports from people living in the forest say Boko Haram fighters are sharing the girls, conducting mass marriages, selling them each for $12. (…) While much of the world has been consumed with other stories, notably the missing Malaysian plane, the relatives of the kidnapped girls in the small town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria have struggled for weeks with no resources to help them. The Nigerian government allayed international concerns when it reported — incorrectly — that it had rescued most of the girls. But the girls were still in captivity. Their parents raised money to arrange private expeditions into the jungle. They found villagers who had seen the hostages with heavily armed men. Relatives are holding street protests to demand more help from the government. With a social media push, including a Twitter #BringBackOurGirls campaign, they are seeking help anywhere they can find it.”