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Boko Haram And A Mass Kidnapping In Nigeria

A terrible mass kidnapping of 200-plus school girls in Nigeria. We’ll look at Christian-Muslim tension in the region, and the Boko Haram story.

In this Monday April 21, 2014 file photo, four female students of the government secondary school Chibok, who were abducted by gunmen and reunited with their families, walk in Chibok, Nigeria. A civil society group says Wednesday April 30, 2014, that villagers are reporting that scores of girls and young women who were recently kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry Islamic extremists. (AP)

In this Monday April 21, 2014 file photo, four female students of the government secondary school Chibok, who were abducted by gunmen and reunited with their families, walk in Chibok, Nigeria. A civil society group says Wednesday April 30, 2014, that villagers are reporting that scores of girls and young women who were recently kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry Islamic extremists. (AP)

The news out of Nigeria was a family’s nightmare, a school’s nightmare.  A country’s nightmare.  More than 200 teenage girls – 16, 17, 18 years old – kidnapped from boarding school in the middle of the night in a mass abduction.  Crammed into trucks and driven into the bush.  Two weeks later, it’s worse.  Nobody knows where the girls are.  Reports say they’ve been sold off as brides to Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgents for twelve dollars a head.  Parents are in utter anguish.  Nigeria’s nightmare politics are laid bare.  This hour On Point:  A mass kidnapping, and Africa’s most populous nation at its wits end.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR international / Africa correspondent. (@ofeibeaq)

Mannir Dan-Alieditor in chief of The Daily Trust.

Darren Kew, associate professor in the department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachussetts-Boston’s McCormack Graduate School. (@DarrenKew)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: ‘Million-woman march’ over Nigerian kidnappings — “The attack was one of the most shocking in Boko Haram’s five-year uprising in which thousands of people have been killed across northern and central Nigeria. The outrage that followed the mass abduction has been compounded by disputes over how many girls were seized and criticism of the military’s search-and-rescue effort.”

NPR: ‘Have Mercy On Our Little Ones’: Kidnapping Agonizes Nigerians –“In previous raids on schools, Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is forbidden,’ has spared girls, ordering them to go home, get married and give up their studies. The sect has vowed to impose strict Islamic law on northern Nigeria and oust the government. The extremists have also been reported to use hostages as sex slaves and cooks in their camps.”

BBC: Chibok abductions: Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan under pressure — “The attack is an eerie echo of a mass abduction in northern Uganda back in 1996. A total of 139 girls aged between 11 and 16 were seized from dormitories at St Mary’s School in Aboke. They were tied together with rope and were taken away by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), which says it is fighting for a state based on the Biblical 10 Commandments. So, same terror tactics, different religion.”

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