Thousands march for kidnapped Nigerian girls

Abuja - Thousands marched through the streets of the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday to demand that the government intensify its search for 200 girls kidnapped by Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram.

The girls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in town of Chibok in Bornu State on the night of April 14, 2014 and have not been seen since.

The BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign - launched shortly after the abduction - arranged the march to the presidential villa in response to a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari at a late December press conference that there was no credible intelligence to suggest where the girls are or whether they were still alive.

The protesters, who included parents of the kidnapped school girls, are due to meet Buhari at the villa.

"A lot of the parents of the girls were affected after President Muhammadu Buhari's media chat when he said they had no idea of the whereabouts of the Chibok girls," said Abuja's Chibok community vice chairman Nkeki Mutah.

Some parents of the girls are so distraught that during Thursday's march they sat down in the middle of the road, weeping.

Buhari, who was elected last March, has promised to stop Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in West Africa since 2009 in its quest to establish a state with its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Thousands of young women and girls have been captured in past years and in some cases raped, forcibly married, trained to fight and made to participate in armed attacks, sometimes on their own towns and villages, according to human rights group Amnesty International. 

 

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