Boko Haram Kidnapped At Least 100 More People This Month
Members of Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group blamed for kidnapping hundreds of young Nigerian girls within the last few months, is suspected to have struck again Saturday. According to reports, 31 boys, and at least 60 girls and women were taken by Boko Haram from Kummabza, a village in northeastern Nigeria. During the same attack, 30 or more people were killed. Among those abducted were married women and their children under the age of 15.
The Nigerian government hasn't succeeded in recovering any of the abducted children since the April 15 attack on Warabe where more than 200 girls were taken, although some have managed to escape captivity; since then, Boko Haram has seemed to only grow in power.
Although Nigerian officials haven't confirmed this latest attack, one local official told The Associated Press it had definitely occurred. Local witnesses, including some older residents who fled Kimmabza to seek help, also confirmed the reports despite security forces in Nigeria saying the abductions did not even happen. According to AP correspondents in Nigeria, it was too dangerous to personally confirm this report since Kummabza that has sustained frequent attacks from the militant group.
Earlier this month, roughly 20 women were reportedly abducted by Boko Haram from Garkin Fulani, a village only a few miles from Chibok where the initial abduction of hundreds of girls took place in April. Despite pressure on the Nigerian government to recover those abducted since April, Boko Haram is overwhelming the region with repeated attacks, as well as controlling regions along the border. Military officials say they know the location of the abducted girls, but a rescue effort would only result in the girls being killed.
Boko Haram, which released a video after the April attacks admitting they'd abducted the girls and threatening to sell them into slavery, is insisting that certain prisoners be released in exchange for the abducted girls. Of course, at this point, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan will not negotiate with the group.
Efforts by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to negotiate with Boko Haram haven't been supported by the government, and Obasanjo says it'll be a "near-miracle" if all abducted girls are recovered. He says the Nigerian government should have taken actions right away to recover the girls. At this point, the U.S., United Kingdom, Turkey, Israel and France have offered to help.
Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls drew in support by the millions, but Nigerian officials have claimed the activists leading the campaign were simply acting to gain political points.