Remember the kidnapped schoolgirls?

What has happened to the 276 schoolgirls Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram?

Remember the kidnapped schoolgirls?

Five months ago the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group raided the north-eastern Nigerian town of Chibok, kidnapping 276 schoolgirls from their secondary school. Some of the girls escaped, but 219 are still missing. The event exploded onto the global media, sparking international outrage, but not one of the kidnapped girls has been rescued.

Despite the huge international response, with Nigeria receiving military assistance from the US, UK, Canada, France and Israel, and the international community showing support through the #Bringbackourgirls campaign, interest over the girls’ fates has waned.

The US scaled back its mission, just six weeks after its 80 troops were sent in, with the Pentagon press secretary announcing , "We don't have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.” Even the Nigerian military has pulled back, complaining about a lack of resources and weapons, despite knowing where the girls are being held. They are resisting a rescue mission, stating the girls’ lives as the reason.

The girls are believed to be held by different groups in several areas, with most still believed to be held in the Sambisa Forest.  A video filmed by the Boko Haram shows two girls talking about their forced conversion from Christianity to Islam.

One attempt has been made to secure some of the girls’ safe return but was hijacked by a second rebel group. After months of negotiating with the Boko Haram a man from Perth, Stephen Davis, came close to rescuing at least 60 of the schoolgirls. He had been a captive of the terror group, and was asked by the Nigeria president to use his hostage negotiation expertise to help save the girls. The operation, just minutes from completion, was intercepted by another rebel group wishing to claim the monetary reward for the girls’ return. 

Since April when the girls were kidnapped, Boko Haram has taken three other smaller groups of girls, as well as some young men and boys, though some have been rescued.

The Council on Foreign Relations in Washington has collated data which suggests that Boko Haram has killed over 2100 people since April. The militant group has been blamed for murdering more than 10,000 people since 2009.

The group, which seeks to impose Sharia law across Nigeria, and is threatening global domination, has cut off the girls’ hometown, Chibok, and have been laying siege to the nearby villages.

The Boko Haram has mocked the #Bringbackourgirls campaign, and its leader, Abubakar Shekau, has declared the girls will be sold into slavery, or married off to men of Boko Haram, if the government does not release members of the terrorist group from prison.

Read more at Huffington Post

Read more at Daily Mail

Opinion: ‘our girls’ are still out there

With the world’s attention focused the devastating actions of ISIS and the escalating situation in Iraq, Australians are being forced into a state of panic about terrorist attacks on our home soil.

Australians are lucky. In the past we have not had to seriously concern ourselves with invasions and terrorist attacks. Our country is surrounded by massive ocean, cushioning us from what is really happening to other people in our global community.

 Nigerian human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe has said that global concern over the schoolgirls’ rescue has died down, largely because international aid as dwindled, and there are no human-rights workers remaining in the region. The global media has also stopped its reporting of the matter.

We are a culture poised for hot-button topics. While the #Bringbackourgirls campaign indicated our horror that 276 innocent girls could be snatched away from their families, we seem to have forgotten that the ones we called ‘our girls’ are still out there.

Certainly the message that we must fear foreign terror has never before been sent so clearly to us, with ASIO officially raising our terrorism threat level to high and our prime minister sending our men and women into something which might be (but according to him, isn’t) war.

Perhaps as individuals we can’t do much to help on a global level, but I think the least we can do is keep important issues, such as the missing Nigerian girls, in our minds and our conversations with others. We’ve got to keep caring about the things happening to others, as well as what could happen to ourselves.

What are your thoughts? Are we too safe in this lovely sunburnt country of ours? Have we forgotten how fortunate we are to live in a community where our daily lives are not directly under threat by groups who want to threaten our freedom and make us conform to their will?





    COMMENTS

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    Stoker
    17th Sep 2014
    10:22am
    Well I know of many who still regard this as an atrocious action and they, do now support the Govt/ASIO/AFP attack on IS. perhaps the Greens could explain, they seem to know everything thats going on (or off)
    nan
    17th Sep 2014
    10:41am
    To say we are safe because we are surrounded by sea is a falicy. If people can arrive undetected in boats I'm sure better equipted undesirables can.
    Adrianus
    18th Sep 2014
    12:54pm
    During the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government we had over 200,000 illegal arrivals that the immigration Department know of. There were many more who overstayed visas. Australia is no longer safe in my opinion, but we do have worlds best police and defence.
    Crazy Horse
    20th Sep 2014
    2:32pm
    There were no "illegal" arrivals by boat. It was and is completely legal under international law to travel to any country by any means you choose as long as you present yourself to the authorities as soon as practicable after arrival.
    Precious 1
    29th Sep 2014
    6:17pm
    A true story...One Sunday morning last summer (Jan this year 2014) I decided to walk up the street to local deli for Sunday Times...I set off and as I could see quite a distance I saw a pile of white as I thought old decorators sheets under a chair outside said deli..As I approached this was apparently a human being sitting crosslegged eating something shrouded in the white garb....As I was within earshot this "person" appeared as a man with dark face nose from forehead to chin and brown feet with very old leather thonglike sandals on...He quickly disappeared within a blink of my eye it was almost like a miraculous conception......I went inside deli and never mentioned anything.......the owner of said deli is a man from the north of our country so would be helping him.....so how are these getting in...silently in the night...or in cargo holds probably for a fee.....how do you think we feel...I don't tell many of these stories for fear of frightening the older ones where I live (retirement village)......
    Precious 1
    8th Nov 2014
    12:18am
    Where I live many arabs wearing long white robes leather thongs are being seen eating food while trying to hide in the bush.......
    Simo
    17th Sep 2014
    11:58am
    Yes this is terrible and Yes the World Community MUST do something, but apart from direct action of sending in the Army then what can be done? I say find the Location and take the risk of the danger tom the Girls, b4casus the World act of Terrorism and now these Terrorists are just laughing in our Faces, let's simply act and show that the World cannot be held to ransom, as was done against the Nazis Germany and Italy in the 1940's.
    wally
    19th Sep 2014
    10:32am
    When the world failed to act in the 1930's and let the NAZIs, Fascists and the Japanese first test and push the patience of their neighbours and then run riot is a similar situation to what is going on now. The "rebellion" going on in the Ukraine today is a reminder that this sort of thing is still possible in the 21st Century. The big question is when will the rest of the world act before the situation really boils over into a major conflict?
    Mar
    17th Sep 2014
    12:07pm
    The girls must not be forgotten. It's amazing how quickly it is being forgotten. Who is taking responsibility to trace what happened to them? The media need to keep a focus, but it has all died down. Their families must feel powerless to help and constantly wonder what's happened to their daughters. We live in a cocoon here in Australia. We must keep this alive. Who knows what these young women are going through.
    Foxy
    17th Sep 2014
    5:47pm
    .....who could ever ever "rely" on a leader who dares call himself "Good Luck Johnny" - says it all!! total "tool" ..................
    EELS
    17th Sep 2014
    12:10pm
    The Greens are very silent on this. Well let me see, what is the common denominator here?
    Precious 1
    29th Sep 2014
    6:06pm
    I oft wonder what the Greens policies are because we all know about trees etc etc and common sense prevailing......?????

    17th Sep 2014
    12:12pm
    What is the Nigerian govt doing? bugger all no doubt as they did when it happened
    moke
    18th Sep 2014
    5:55pm
    AH trod the above information tells us that the Nigerian government is short on finances, aid etc. As per usual another country crying poor, why don't the top dogs cut down and put some of their booty in use to help their own.

    17th Sep 2014
    12:16pm
    It seems we may have, or at least this issue has taken a back seat. Unfortunately there are so many things going on now in the 'Islamic' side of the world that defy description by we 'infidels', and we, as a group of caring individuals, simply have no power to affect these things. I'm saying that the people perpetrating these things claim to be Islamic in faith, yet defy the basic tenets of that faith and use it as an excuse to commit murder and even genocide, as in this case of stealing potential mothers of the future, thus destroying the 'opposition' social group.

    Frankly barbarous.
    buby
    17th Sep 2014
    2:39pm
    Its quiet possible they are doing other things to help us take our minds off the girls, while they do as they wish. Perhaps thats the whole idea?
    Innyoo
    17th Sep 2014
    12:52pm
    It seems amazing that no one has found out where they are, or if they are still alive. Even more amazing that no one seems to have done anything to free them. There are some very nasty people out there who seem untouchable, but their time will come......
    Precious 1
    29th Sep 2014
    6:23pm
    I said in another comment the powers that be have found em but they too heavily guarded to be able to get em out and of course there are far more than first found out.....news was in either a UK or AUSS news media............or African.....also on Internet.....or was that for the benefit of us who care.........
    Old Fella
    17th Sep 2014
    12:57pm
    What Law is Sharia Law if it supports , Kidnapping, Theft, Brutality and forced religious conversion. Such activity is criminal by any measure of civilisation. History shows such civilisations are doomed and discarded by humanity ultimately . I see Boko Haram as a lost cause already as it continues on its present criminal path. Natures wrath will eventually bring down its justice upon the Abukaker Shekau's of this world and one would hope with appropriate vengeance as well as revenge.
    KSS
    17th Sep 2014
    1:01pm
    The problem is girls and women are not a priority in the Muslim world. Add to that these girls were/are Christian and they don't rate at all.

    Given the Nigerian Government has said it knows where the girls are and yet have done nothing speaks volumes. The International Community can do nothing inside Nigeria unless the Nigerian Government invite them in.

    Blaming others (international aid reduction, human rights workers and the global media) does not point the finger in the right place. What is Mr Ogebe doing? Apart from blaming the international community. He is a Human Rights Lawyer! You cannot blame the international community for pulling out when clearly the Nigerian Government is not willing to share information or take the tough decisions. Those decisions are NOT the International community's decisions to make. What does Mr Ogebe expect them to do - sit around for months on end doing nothing?

    I also take issue with the opinion expressed that "Australians are being forced into a state of panic about terrorist attacks on our home soil." Really? Sounds like the only person panicking is Ms Theodorakis. Acknowledging a potential threat and taking action to mitigate the risk is hardly incitement to panic. Perhaps take this issue up with The Greens and Ms Milne together with a few wayward Labor MPs rather than the Government who actually have bi-partisan support for their current actions on IS.
    ozimarco
    17th Sep 2014
    1:06pm
    You can bet that, if those girls had been white, a lot more effort would have been expended to rescue them. The same with ISIS or IS as it is now called. It's only now, after three white men have been beheaded, that action is being taken. All of a sudden, the Western world is up in arms. We are such hypocrites.
    Anonymous
    17th Sep 2014
    5:57pm
    Sometimes things are going on behind the scenes and to disclose them in the media could jeopardise success. Maybe plans are afoot..at least I hope so.
    Precious 1
    29th Sep 2014
    6:07pm
    Never know if its all true.........these people lying all the time............
    Kato
    17th Sep 2014
    1:36pm
    At the height of the outrage justifiably so.A Nigerian Army Officer said we know exactly where the girls are being held but going in to rescue them would only result in them being killed.If they don't know how to resolve it then?
    justme
    17th Sep 2014
    1:59pm
    Comments pretty much correct. We have to stop acting like we are responsible for fixing the worlds unfixable problems. That applies to so many topics. It's become "fashionable" for so called "media commentators" in Australia to pontificate that we must do this/that/whatever to see these problems as ours to fix. RUBBISH
    Oliva
    17th Sep 2014
    9:51pm
    Yes we should be minding our own business. Politicians like to tell us it is our business but it is not.
    wally
    19th Sep 2014
    10:39am
    Olivia's minding our own business is the argument used in the 1930's by the democratic powers when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and Hitler helped himself to Austria and Czechoslovakia. Had they acted then, they just might have dissuaded the dictators from land grabbing and averted World War 2. Some people don't seem to learn from history's lessons.
    justme
    17th Sep 2014
    2:04pm
    "Australians are being forced into a state of panic"
    Hands up anyone who has met anyone who is in a sate of panic over a possible terrorist attack here. They obviously don't live any where near me.
    Yes we are fully aware and concerned, but lets keep the language realistic, please.
    buby
    17th Sep 2014
    2:43pm
    certainly i for one am NOT in a panic!
    musicveg
    17th Sep 2014
    3:00pm
    Can you imagine this happening in Australia? There is something terrible wrong with the Nigerian Government that they cannot control these barbarians. Too many innocent people are getting caught up in wars, terrorism and extremist's awful need for power and control. I feel very sad for all the suffering of humans and not forgetting animals at the hands of humans.
    Oldie84
    17th Sep 2014
    3:09pm
    Yes, it starts with the Nigerian Government, Coalition of African States, United Nations, Countries of Islamic Faith, so why is it that the onus seems to fall on the West again? and again?. But I guess they are only "females" so they don't rate.
    And don't come with that hairy old argument that Pres. Bush should not have eliminated mass murderer Saddam. Or that Israel shouldn't exist or defend itself.
    Only bring this up because it is always blamed for everything.
    EELS
    17th Sep 2014
    4:17pm
    Whoa Oldie81 you wrote my script!!
    Idontforget
    17th Sep 2014
    3:15pm
    This sentence in the article above would have to be the most ridiculous, cockeyed, screwed up piece of propaganda I have read or heard about for a long long time.

    In the past we have not had to seriously concern ourselves with invasions and terrorist attacks.

    Maybe the author should go to a library and peruse Australian history between 1941 and 1945 or go to an Anzac Day Ceremony and speak with some of the octogenarian marchers.
    KSS
    17th Sep 2014
    3:43pm
    But don't panic!
    Oldie84
    17th Sep 2014
    6:14pm
    Which sentence are you referring to Idontforget?
    May be I did not express myself too well.
    Idontforget
    17th Sep 2014
    7:45pm
    The middle sentence
    Oldie84
    17th Sep 2014
    10:35pm
    I only wrote it in because 90% of conversation on this site always comes back to allocating blame, inevitably USA, Tony Abbott et al, all the usual suspects.
    M
    maczee
    17th Sep 2014
    3:24pm
    It seems unbelievable that in this day and age we can lose these girls, or aircraft ect? we are given to believe that we have such sophisticated weapons and surveillance equipment and they can't be traced?, the United Nations should b e doing more, we plough untold amounts of money in to this toothless organisation , it looks like all talk and no do these day's, The waste of money needs addressing.
    EELS
    17th Sep 2014
    4:27pm
    Too many on the UN are only concerned about riding on the gravy train. Too busy to actually do what the organization was created for. Disband it.
    It interferes too much into the affairs of Western countries and ignores the plight of those countries in the hands of despots where they should intervene.
    The West is always a soft target. They should do something about Magabe for one.
    The US is always the first to provide humanitarian aid when there is any trouble anyway, even though they get bagged for it by all their detractors.
    Xmascrazy
    17th Sep 2014
    7:26pm
    I totally agree with EELS - get rid of the UN - it is the basic problems for many issues - it is not the answer.
    Australia is often held to "ransom"by the UN its toothless and we get penniless in being dragged into conflicts that we are unable to bring about change
    Brain Matters
    17th Sep 2014
    3:50pm
    Unfortunately I can't help those poor girls, but I can pray for them, why not join me??
    Anonymous
    17th Sep 2014
    4:41pm
    sorry, but praying is not going to do a thing!
    Mar
    17th Sep 2014
    5:48pm
    That's your opinion Trood. Prayer can empower when there is little else that one can do. The girls certainly deserve our thoughts and prayers to be with them.
    Anonymous
    17th Sep 2014
    5:58pm
    Good on you Mar!
    OzzieOzzie
    17th Sep 2014
    7:32pm
    Who is "Looking after Australia"?
    Crazy Horse
    20th Sep 2014
    2:35pm
    Certainly not Abbott and his cronies.
    OzzieOzzie
    17th Sep 2014
    7:40pm
    "Our Girls" they don't come from Australia so they NOT Our Girls. Why do WE have to get involved in other countries "downfalls"?
    Australia is $80 Billion in Debt so "HE" tells us. WE can't afford to get involved.
    "Charity begins at HOME". Fix Australia 1st then we can help others.
    OzzieOzzie
    17th Sep 2014
    7:44pm
    If WE keep interfering in others problems we are going to be Involved as well
    unicorn
    18th Sep 2014
    7:19am
    "Brissyblonde> you asked who is looking after Aisytalia ? Nobody is looking after Australia not even Tony & Joe as tey are too busy looling after Malaysia.
    Kathleen
    18th Sep 2014
    2:01pm
    Apparently a lot more has happened! Young men have been taken as well. This is only part of what they continue to do! It is awful and beyond our understanding here in Australia! Hopefully, there continues to be some investigation and support for them!
    unicorn
    21st Sep 2014
    6:17am
    Agreed Gtandmother Kathleen, hopefu;;y there'll be some help for them but what can we afford to do, We're ecpecyed to take refugees. feed them & house them, aid so and so plus look after the world's worries . Come on we're expected to search for missing planes, etc etc as well as give Malaysia everything to help them fix their worrries.
    Precious 1
    24th Sep 2014
    12:55am
    Of course they out there...the authorities know where they are but they heavily guarded and no one can get in to rescue them they still in Africa.....
    Precious 1
    29th Sep 2014
    6:02pm
    This was edited on internet thru the media in the west.......
    pauline
    29th Sep 2014
    2:26pm
    Yes, OzzieOzzie, I totally agree 100% with you. Stop interfering if you don't want Australia to be a target for Jihadists and you don't want refugees. Every time the warmongering WESTERN NATIONS take it upon themselves to meddle in the affairs of other countries involved in conflict, they make a bad situation worse. If you are serious about improving the lot of people in disadvantaged countries,spend your money on getting the children educated, especially the girls. No point in air attacks or sending in the troops to kill more people including the innocent.
    Precious 1
    8th Nov 2014
    12:17am
    I send apologies for upsetting you...Now however we hear that those schoolgirls have now been sold on and married.......
    Old Fella
    7th Nov 2014
    11:55am
    Sadly I suspect these girls were forever lost a fortnight after their kidnapping. Repeated reference is made to the lack of willingness of the Nigerian Government, their native land, to pursue the girls repatriation , also much reference to the inability of other foreign countries (US, UK, Canada, France , Israel and others) being unable to action any positive outcome for these lost young innocents'. Only collated data to suggest Boko Haram have killed 2100 since April 2014 and 10,000 + or - since 2009. The collated data suggestion is fatal , are the 276 girls among those many other victims since April. Given the endless stream of criminality being assigned players in the middle east, and many parts of Africa no wonder we are being de sensitised to humanity and no wonder we all are looking towards conspiracy theory to appease our individual conscious on the inaction of our Leaders to lead any realistic humanity recovery throughout our world. Armageddon has literal meaning without religious connotation , perhaps we are well into Armageddon and its ultimate end, and numbers of victims, ages , gender or circumstance are just numbers - collated by an inhuman computer in never never reality land .
    Oldie84
    7th Nov 2014
    12:08pm
    Sadly you are right Old Fella. There is just so much heartbreak in this world that it makes you wonder why, when all people from all over the globe just want to lead a normal life with their families and children.


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