Nigerian schoolgirls have been missing for 100 days
July 22 marked 100 days since an Islamist militant group kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls from their dormitories. Concern for their safety continues as their parents and residents of the surrounding area still search for answers.
Boko Haram, the group that claimed responsibility for the mass abduction, initially took at least 276 girls from their school dormitories in Chibok and drove away with them in trucks in the middle of the night on April 14. They later captured more young women and threatened to “sell” them on the market.
The radical Islamist group has since attacked the northeastern town of Chibok. Nearly a dozen of the girls’ parents have died during the violence.
The kidnapping created an international outcry with some people criticizing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s response to the missing teenagers.
A video emerged in May that appeared to show footage of at least 100 of the girls praying and dressed in full-length, black veils. World leaders, including President Barack Obama, called on the international community to respond to what they deemed “appalling actions” in Nigeria. At the request of Secretary of State John Kerry, a team of Americans traveled in May to Nigeria to assist leaders in their search efforts.
Politicians and celebrities took to Twitter using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to encourage the release of the teenage girls.
Boko Haram, which translates to “Western education is forbidden,” has been known for attacking schools, police stations, government buildings and churches. Members aim to establish an Islamist state in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.