Eleven U.S. women senators on Monday night joined the international community in encouraging the return of the missing Nigerian girls by posting an image of themselves to Twitter standing around a sign that reads: "#BringBackOurGirls."
The original campaign, which uses hashtag BringBackOurGirls, began last week as international leaders offered assistance to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in the search for the nearly 300 girls missing since April 14.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland tweeted the image, which also includes fellow Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Other politicians, world leaders, comedians and celebrities also posted images similar to the senators' photograph.
But some individuals, including Fox News contributors, Will Cain of TheBlaze and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, last weekend began mocking the hashtag. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter's sarcastic tweet on Sunday ("#BringBackOurCountry") was met with contempt by other social-media users who replaced the text on her sign with their own phrases meant to mock her.
The 20 women who serve in the Senate called on President Barack Obama and the global community last week to impose further sanctions on Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnapped more than 276 girls. They wrote a letter to the president, urging him to crack down on the organization and place its members on the United Nation's al-Qaeda sanctions list.
Subsequently, a group of U.S. advisers arrived on Friday to Nigeria to assist the government's leaders with their search. Secretary of State John Kerry offered aid to President Jonathan three days prior to the team's landing in Africa's most populous state.
Also on Friday, President Jonathan promised to conquer terrorism in a speech he gave to the World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria. He also thanked the United States, United Kingdom, China and France for their governments' commitments to resolve the issue.