Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

"Let the Chibok girls come back"

"Let the Chibok girls come back"

The parents of the 112 adolescents who have been missing since their kidnapping five years ago in Chibok, in the northeast of Nigeria, at the hands of the Boko Haram jihadists, claim the same thing as then: "to give back their girls".

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"Five years have passed since the abduction of the 276 girls from Chibok and 112 continue in captivity, our claim is the same as five years ago: that they give back to our girls alive and now," they asked today from the movement #BringBackOurGirls (" Give back to our girls ").

Under the slogan "The agony of the girls of Chibok, the shame of a nation", this organization celebrated on Sunday the third annual reading in commemoration of the five years of the event, as well as a meeting at the Source of Unity, located in a well-known park in the Nigerian capital.

"Five years have passed, five years of deep agony and our 112 Chibok girls have not yet returned." Five years of tragedy in which the (Nigerian President, Muhamadu Buhari) continues to fail his parents. we must never forget them, "Oby Ezekwesili, co-founder of" Bring Back Our Girls ", posted on her Twitter.

On April 14, 2014, a total of 276 girls were abducted in a boarding school in the city of Chibok, in the northern state of Borno, by the jihadist group Boko Haram, which since 2009 has caused more than 20,000 dead and around two million displaced.

At first, few believed the news, thinking it was an electoral ploy for the 2015 presidential election, but everything changed when Boko Haram - until then a group almost unknown outside of Nigeria - published a video in which appeared the teenagers.

From there, international figures like the then first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and celebrities from Hollywood wrapped up in social networks a campaign that went viral under the slogan #BringBackOurGirls ("Give back to our girls"). The event had placed, in the eyes of the West, Boko Haram on the map.

Of the total of 276 girls - after 56 managed to escape and more than 100 were freed in prisoner exchanges - it is believed that at least 112 remain in the hands of the insurgents, in an environment that five years later moves between the recrimination of the families and the silence of the Nigerian government.

The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, also used Twitter to pronounce on the issue, where he was pleased that he had managed to recover 107 of the girls and said he "would not rest until the others can meet their families."

"We are not going to surrender until our missing daughters and the rest of the hostages that Boko Haram keeps coming in. In the last four years, the security forces have managed to rescue thousands of captives and we will not stop until we release the last one", asserted the president.

Amnesty International (AI) on Sunday called on Boko Haram "to put an end to the suffering of the remaining 112 girls and to release them immediately along with the rest of the people they keep kidnapped."

They also called for intensified efforts in the rescue of victims of "less publicized" mass kidnappings.

The spokesperson of the organization "Bring Back Our Girls", Nifemi Onifade, said in an interview with Efe that "she hopes that each of the Chibok girls will be recovered so that they can continue with their lives" and added that they will continue to pressure the Government of Nigeria "so that it assumes its responsibility and fulfills its obligations".

"The information from the Nigerian government is more or less a deathly silence, we receive nothing at all, except for an occasional statement saying that they are working on the situation or that the girls have not been forgotten," Onifade said. .

Whatever the necessary formula, for parents who have not seen for five years, embrace or know anything about their daughters, the arrival of a new day away from them only means that their lives are still in danger; aware that many are forced to marry terrorists, have children and even perpetrate attacks.

"Bringing these girls back, returning them, is the only thing that matters to us," Onifade said.

Paul Okono


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