More girls have allegedly been kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria as the search continues for the missing schoolgirls abducted three weeks ago. A resident in the village of Warabe told Reuters on Tuesday that men opened fire during a raid of the town in which eight girls, aged 12 to 15, were taken. Police told Reuters that the girls were driven away on trucks with stolen livestock and food.
Today, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the U.S. will send a team to help the Nigerian government negotiation the rescue of the girls, who have been missing since April 14.
.@PressSec: US to send team to Nigeria to advise government on negotiating release of abducted girls— Mark Landler (@MarkLandler) May 6, 2014
On Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video claiming responsibility for the kidnapping and threatened to sell the hundreds of girls as wives or slaves. “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell,” he says. The video, first obtained by Agence-France Presse, calls for an end to Western education, and urges girls to get married. It is believed the schoolgirls were abducted to become cooks and sex slaves.
The government could use some assistance too, as citizens have angrily protested the failure to engage Boko Haram or rescue the girls. Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan broke a two-week long silence to speak out about the kidnapping over the weekend, while First Lady Patience Jonathan accused protesters of making the story up, and working with Boko Haram.
"We are deeply concerned about the outrageous claims made in a video believed to be by the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria yesterday," said Rupert Colville, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, adding that the group targeted the girls simply because they were enrolled in school.