First Video Of Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls Released

A month after more than 300 Nigerian teenage girls were abducted from their school dormitory in Chibok, a video has been released that shows about half of them at an undisclosed location.

The video was presumably filmed by members of “Boko Haram,” the radical Islamic group responsible for the girls’ disappearance. It was submitted to French news agency Agence France-Presse.

The footage shows more than 100 of the girls clad in Islamic garb and sitting in a remote forest area. Alleged Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appears in the video. He claims that Boko Haram is interested in trading the girls in exchange for the release of their imprisoned brethren. Shekau also reveals that the girls have converted from Christianity to Islam. And the girls can be seen praying and exclaiming, “Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world,” in the video.

The video’s authenticity hasn’t been confirmed, and it’s not clear when the footage was taken. But if the video is determined to be real, this will be the first time the girls have been seen since their abduction in April.

On April 14th, Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram (which means “Western education is sin”) reportedly kidnapped more than 300 girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northern Nigeria. Heavily-armed, they traveled to the boarding school, shot two armed guards, and abducted the girls. Some were able to escape, but the exact amount has been indeterminable. The bulk of them, however, were placed into trucks and driven off to a remote forest base.

According to various reports, more than 270 girls remain missing. It’s been alleged that some of them have been forced into marriage with their Boko Haram abductors, sold for a nominal bride price of $12.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the massive abduction. The Nigerian government has been accused of knowing the abduction was going to take place hours before it happened. The government has also been condemned for failing to request assistance until weeks later. Initially, it was considered an internal matter, and outside assistance was refused.

According to CNN, the U.S. offered assistance immediately after the mass abduction was publicized. However, Nigeria didn’t allow for outside countries to aid them until the matter was determined to need a greater response.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan asked for foreign help earlier this month. Currently, international assistance is being provided from the U.S., Britain, France, China, and Israel. The Nigerian government has also offered $300,000 for information leading to the rescue of the girls.

Families of the kidnapped girls have protested, marched, and condemned the government for not acting expeditiously regarding the matter; they’ve demanded the government to increase its efforts to rescue the abductees.

In addition to the massive abduction, Boko Haram recently made headlines for killing around 300 people at a marketplace near the Nigerian town, Gamboru Ngala. According to reports, the gunmen set several homes and shops on fire and shot civilians as they tried to flee.

Boko Haram is alleged to be responsible for an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013. And more than 1,500 people have died in their attacks so far this year.

By @Lou4President

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