The alleged leader of militant insurgency group Boko Haram admitted in a new video obtained by Agence France-Presse to kidnapping over 200 Nigerian girls on April 14 – and also declared his intentions to sell them “on the market.”
“I abducted your girls,” Abubakar Shekau is quoted by CNN’s translators as declaring in the 57-minute video. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans.” Shekau is seen laughing and smiling throughout the almost hour-long video, in which he relays Boko Haram’s mission to end girls’ education in Nigeria. “Girls, you should go and get married,” he says in a later clip. Boko Haram’s name means “Western education is a sin,” and this action is part of their call to end Western education in the West African country.
Nigerian officials updated the number of girls kidnapped to 276 Friday, with 223 still in the hands of Boko Haram after 53 escaped. “Wherever these girls are,” Nigeria President Goodluck Johnson said Sunday, “we’ll get them out.”
Although Jonathan has repeatedly promised to rescue the girls, activists remain unimpressed. Nearly a month after the kidnapping, the government has not attempted a rescue and no other solution has been declared.
The call to find the missing schoolgirls has spread around the world. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced a resolution last week urging US assistance, and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf explained on Thursday that US officials “have been engaged with the Nigerian government.” Protests are being mounted from London to Los Angeles to encourage international participation in the rescue efforts, and over the weekend the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls trended globally on Twitter.