Thursday will mark 500 days since more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. The relatives of the abducted girls said they would hold a youth march and candle-lit vigil to commemorate the day.
The Bring Back Our Girls campaign said it would stage a “Chibok Girls Ambassador March” in the capital Abuja, AFP said.
The school girls were abducted in April last year when Boko Haram fighters stormed their Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno state, kidnapping 276 girls.
“Fifty-seven escaped but nothing has been heard of the remaining 219 since May last year, when about 100 of them appeared in a Boko Haram video dressed in Muslim attire and reciting the Koran” AFP reports.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls have all converted to Islam and been “married off”. Nigeria has been offered logistical and military support by the US and others to rescue the girls but the efforts have not yielded results. International campaigns and lobbying have also not yielded positive results.
The Nigerian army has said it knows where the girls are, but ruled out a rescue operation because of the dangers to the girls’ lives.