Nigeria’s Girls Have Been Held Captive for Three Months

The Nigerian government is practically telling them, “You’re on your own.”

Activists from a coalition of more than 40 African women organisations march on May 15, 2014 in the streets of Kenya's capital Nairobi demanding the release of more than 300 schoolgirls abducted from schools in nothern Nigeria by muslim extremist group Boko Haram.
National Journal
Emma Roller
See more stories about...
Emma Roller
July 14, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

It’s been 91 days since nearly 300 Ni­geri­an girls were forced out of their beds at gun­point and loaded onto trucks by mem­bers of the ter­ror­ist group Boko Haram. And, hon­estly, there hasn’t been much news to re­port since last month. But that’s the point.

This is go­ing the way of Kony 2012 — a hasht­ag, flash-in-the-pan in­ter­na­tion­al cov­er­age, then ra­dio si­lence any­where out­side of the coun­try. Boko Haram con­tin­ues to openly taunt the Ni­geri­an gov­ern­ment’s about its in­ac­tion. Aside from the U.S. pledge to send ad­vis­ory troops, the only con­gres­sion­al sup­port it’s got­ten is a stray tweet here and there.

However, there has been some good news. Last week, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted that 63 of the girls were able to es­cape their captors and re­turn home. And the girls’ fam­il­ies have found an ally in Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen­ager who sur­vived be­ing shot in the head by Taliban ter­ror­ists. Malala vis­ited Ni­ger­ia over the week­end to draw at­ten­tion to the kid­nap­pings and ask Ni­geri­an Pres­id­ent Good­luck Jonath­an to take ac­tion. “They are my sis­ters, and I’m go­ing to speak up for them un­til they are re­leased,” she told the girls’ fam­il­ies.

Of course, Jonath­an’s gov­ern­ment has claimed it’s do­ing as much as it can to bring back the girls. An an­onym­ous source told CBS that “back­door chan­nels re­main open,” and said res­cue ef­forts were abor­ted at the last second on three sep­ar­ate oc­ca­sions. A Boko Haram lead­er has also offered to ne­go­ti­ate a pris­on­er swap, but the Ni­geri­an gov­ern­ment has been un­re­cept­ive to the idea.

All these prom­ises for ac­tion have failed to con­sole Ni­ger­ia’s cit­izens. In the three months since the girls’ ab­duc­tion, Jonath­an did not met with their fam­il­ies — though he is ex­pec­ted to do so later on Monday. But, for now, as the days, weeks, and months tick on, the Ni­geri­an gov­ern­ment is telling these girls and their fam­il­ies that if they want to re­gain their free­dom from vi­ol­ent ex­trem­ists, they’ll have to go it alone.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×