Boko Haram Officially Claims Responsibility for Kidnapped Girls

The weekend’s least surprising (but perhaps most tragic) development in Nigeria’s ongoing quest to rescue the nearly 200 missing school girls was an announcement from militant group Boko Haram (literally: “Western education is a sin”), claiming responsibility for the missing girls. In a nearly hour-long video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declared ”I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.” And while about 53 girls have managed to escape his clutches, he’s planning to sell off the rest for about $12.

Compounding the already-horrible situation is the Nigerian government, which seems a little unsure of what to do next. The only person who’s been detained is a woman named Naomi Mutah Nyadar, who was leading a peaceful protest, demanding that officials do more to rescue the girls. The government detained her after she had a meeting with Nigeria’s First Lady, who said she “unlawfully” claimed to be the mother of one of the girls. However, it seems all she said was “Bring back our daughters,” meaning “daughters” in a clearly broad sense.

So far, the only thing President Goodluck Johnson has done is announce a “fact-finding mission,” some three weeks after the girls first disappeared and international outrage escalated to a fever pitch. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in an editorial: “I do not want a president who, weeks after girls are abducted from a school and days after brave Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest the abductions, merely announces a fact-finding committee to find the girls” …

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