U.S. Calls on Nigeria to Rescue Chibok Girls Still Held by Boko Haram

On April 14, 2014, 276 female students aged 16-18 were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria.

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U.S. Calls for Efforts to Free Remaining Chibok Girls

The U.S. House of Representatives has called on Nigeria and the United States to work harder to free the remaining Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram 10 years ago. In a resolution passed on April 12, the House said the two countries must “redouble efforts to bring an end to the conflict in northeast and central Nigeria and to provide assistance to the victims.”

The resolution states: “The House of Representatives recognizes the tragic tenth anniversary of the Chibok girls kidnapping and calls for the immediate release of all Boko Haram captives, especially the remaining Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu.”

On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram militants kidnapped 276 girls aged 12-17 from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. 57 escaped, but 219 were held captive, abused, and enslaved. The resolution says some were “repeatedly raped, starved, and, in some cases, forcibly converted to Islam and married to their captors.

Over 100 girls were later released, but the resolution states “as many as 98 or more remain in captivity and are subjected to deplorable abuses.”

According to a virtual report released by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF), 21 liberated girls returned accompanied by 34 children. Additionally, the report revealed that 48 parents of the kidnapped victims had passed away. Overall the kidnapping has resulted in significant psychological distress for survivors and their families. This trauma has led to health problems and obstacles in accessing employment and education.

One of the sponsors of the resolution, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said;

“As a mother and educator, I can only imagine the terror the families have felt not seeing or knowing if their loved ones were alive. That led me to start my 7-year journey to #BringBackOurGirls, and every week, I did not let up in my advocacy. From press conferences to wearing red to traveling to Nigeria multiple times, I was determined to #BringBackOurGirls. Since that journey, we did bring back many of the girls and I had the chance to meet many of them. Sadly, some were never found.”

That’s why, today and every day, I am committed to doing everything I can to destroy the cruel terrorist group of Boko Haram. As part of this effort, I have introduced a resolution in Congress to recommit ourselves to defeating Boko Haram. Let us remember the victims of Boko Haram today because while the world might have forgotten about them, the girls and their families will never forget.”

The House “urges the Government of Nigeria…to prioritize the recovery of women and girls who have been abducted and enslaved by Boko Haram.” It also calls on the U.S. to rapidly implement strategies “to address the grievous threat posed by Boko Haram and other violent extremist organizations.”

Since the Chibok kidnapping, there have been numerous other attacks on schools and mass abductions of children in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram and other armed groups, with over 780 children abducted for ransom as of 2023.

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