Marking six months to the day of their abduction, 219 schoolgirls kidnapped en-mass by the radical Islamic insurgency, Boko Haram, in April remain in captivity today as protests are launched around the world demanding their freedom. More than a million signatures have been gathered demanding world leaders ensure the safe return of all those abducted. Reports of some of the girls being forcefully converted to Islam and sold to their militant captors as child brides continue to loom over the situation, as the Nigerian military continues to struggle against militants now equipped with armored vehicles, tanks and, according to a Nigerian foot soldier, helicopters. Learn everything you need to know about Boko Haram’s heinous abductions, here.
10/14/2014 Nigeria (The Telegraph) Protesters calling for the release of 219 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants were set Tuesday to mark the six-month anniversary of their abduction with a march on the presidency.
Members of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign were planning to walk to President Goodluck Jonathan’s official residence in Abuja to keep up the pressure on the government to bring the missing teenagers home.
The march is the culmination of a series of events in the past week, including a candlelit vigil, to keep the fate of the girls in the public eye, as media coverage and on-line interest wanes.
The daughter and niece of Enoch Mark, an elder in Chibok from where the girls were abducted, are aong those missiong.
“At one point we contemplated holding funeral rites for the girls as our tradition provides,” he told AFP.
Parents have run the gamut of emotions in the last six months, from initial hope to despair and back again, he added.
“But the discovery of a girl last month… who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in January gave us renewed hope that our girls would be found.
“If this girl could regain freedom after nine months in captivity all hope is not lost that our daughters would one day be free.
“This has rekindled our hope and strengthened our patience. We are ready to wait six years on hoping to have our daughters back with us.”
Some 276 girls were seized from their dormitories at the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, on the night of April 14.