Boko Haram Sells Kidnapped Girls As Slaves

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Schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram are being sold for 2,000 rials each ($12) and forced into marriages with the terrorists who kidnapped them. Two-hundred-thirty schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamic militants two weeks ago and disappeared into Nigeria's heavily forested northeast region.

Halite Aliyu, a human rights activist from the Borno-Yobe-Peoples Forum said that close to 200 girls had already been sold into marriage. Local human rights groups have been negotiating for the release of the girls, but details of the talks have been kept secret in order to protect the girls.

A village elder who spoke to the BBC's Hausa service said, "Some of them have been married off to insurgents. A medieval kind of slavery. You go and capture women and then sell them off."

Around 40 of the girls are escaped the initial kidnapping by leaping from the moving trucks that were carrying them away. One girl, Deborah Sanya, was able to tell her story to the New Yorker. She said that the militants dressed up in Nigerian Army uniforms to confuse the girls and ensure compliance until they had them under control.  She told the reporter, "I thought it was the end of my life."

The story has stuck a chord across Nigeria and around the world. President Goodluck Jonathan has held a security meeting with 36 state governors to discuss ways of ending the Islamist threat. But Nigerians have been demanding more from their government.

Over 500 people, led by mothers, marched to the Nigerian National Assembly in the pouring rain to protest government inactivity since kidnapping took place. Carrying banners and wearing red, they delivered a letter in the capital Abuja calling on President Goodluck to take action to find their daughters.

Activist Mercy Asu Abang said, "The leaders of both houses said they will do all in their power, but we are saying two weeks already have passed. We want action now"

 The story is being shared on Twitter using #BringBackOurGirls.


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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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