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Apr 26 2014

234 missing schoolgirls

Those abducted schoolgirls in Borno state, Nigeria, are still missing. Borno women appealed for the girls’ release on Wednesday.

Women in Borno State yesterday stated their willingness to go into the Sambisa Forest in search of schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok two weeks ago.

The women, who appeared in black dresses and sobbed over the incident, spoke to journalists in Maiduguri, where they urged for the release of the female students.
Authorities believe that at least 234 of the schoolgirls are still missing, after some of them escaped from their Boko Haram kidnappers.

Prof Hauwa Abdu Biu, who spoke on behalf of the concerned women yesterday, called on the sect to release the girls, saying the abduction was inhuman.

“We are ready to go into the bush to search for them if we could get somebody who will led us. These girls are innocent and no harm should befall them,” she said, sobbing.

“The abduction of innocents’ girls violates their human rights, is a crime against humanity and is prohibited under the international humanitarian law.

“Women in Borno State condemn in its totality such acts of violence as attacks on schools deny children their rights to learn in a safe environment, thereby jeopardising their future.”

And making quite a nightmare of their present, too.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    chigau (違う)

    Ophelia
    There is something wrong with the links to
    30%

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Thanks chigau. I started over with a different title.

  3. 3
    Blanche Quizno

    “We are ready to go into the bush to search for them if we could get somebody who will led us.”

    So why are they waiting for someone to led [sic] them?? I tell you what, if it were MY daughter or someone *I* cared about, I’d be charging right in and damn the torpedoes! I would go in and search, square meter by square meter, until I found them or died trying.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Why? Because it’s a dense, dangerous forest (the news reports have said that). It’s no use just charging into a dense forest and hoping for the best. They need someone with some knowledge of the forest, to give them some chance of finding the likely places for a camp.

    It’s very easy to shout from a distance about what we would do in that situation, but the reality is likely to be more intractable than that.

  5. 5
    quixote

    If you’ve been hiking in any sort of backcountry, you’ve dealt with difficult-to-follow trails. The biggest problem when the trail gets faint is that animals make trails too. Theirs go along nicely for a while and melt away. And when you look back the way you came, you realize you don’t really know where that was. In tropical jungle some plants grow really fast, so faint trails are even fainter. And in Congolese jungles there are also some fairly lethal animals, snakes and spiders mainly.

    I think it’s mainly the terminology that makes confusion. When the woman said someone to “lead” us, she meant forest guides, who are indeed essential. What’s really interesting is the implication. There are plenty of locals who could act as guides. But apparently they’re refusing to do so at any price the women can pay.

    And I saw on the BBC that the government isn’t looking for the girls because Boko isn’t killing them. Just using them as slaves. So that’s all right, then.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, jesus, REALLY?

  7. 7
    quixote

    Do you mean is the government really not looking for them? Apparently so. Or are the locals really refusing to act as guides? I don’t know. I haven’t read anything about that. Maybe there’s some other explanation. But in all my years of doing field work, it doesn’t matter where you are, if people live there, someone is always happy to take you where you need to go. Except, I guess, when they’ve been threatened by monsters.

  8. 8
    latsot

    There is still an astonishing lack of reporting about this in the UK compared to, say, speculative articles about one missing blonde, white-skinned British girl which have grabbed the front pages of every national newspaper every few months since 2007.

  9. 9
    quixote

    Quite tangential to the point here, but I just came across interesting information about the derivation of “Boko” via Language Log.

    Turns out it’s not a version of “book” and by derivation Western education. It actually comes from a Hausa word meaning “fraud.”

    So I guess the idea is “the kind of fraud that is unholy,” as opposed to perfectly fine fraud. ?

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