Nigerian schoolgirls trafficked to neighbouring countries

Nigerian schoolgirls trafficked to neighbouring countries

Dozens of schoolgirls abducted by Islamist fighters in Nigeria have been trafficked to neighbouring countries and forced to marry their kidnappers, it was reported this week.

In response, protesters have marched on Nigeria’s parliament to decry the government’s lax reaction to the raid, and a “million woman” march is planned.

A local elder said Boko Haram militants had been seen crossing the borders into Chad and Cameroon with the pupils in tow.

Pogo Bitrus, a local leader in Chibok, where the raided boarding school is located, said the girls were sold as brides to Islamist fighters for £7.50 (about R130) each.

He said locals had been tracking the movements of the hostages with the help of “various sources” since their abduction about two weeks ago.

His report could not be independently confirmed but it was echoed by Halite Aliyu, the leader of a local civil society group, the BornoYobe People’s Forum.

She said villagers in the Sambisa Forest, a remote area on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon where Boko Haram is known to have camps, had also told parents of such sightings.

Nigerian authorities have said the search for the girls is continuing and that it called a “crisis meeting” last week.

Activists have called for a “million woman” march in the capital, Abuja, to pressure the government into intensifying its response.

Hajia Nana Kashim Shettima, the first lady of Borno state, where the town of Chibok is located, appealed ” to [the wives] of security chiefs at the national and state level to run and mount pressures on your spouses to intensify efforts to rescue our dear children”. [….]

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