Daily Video

February 11, 2015

Why #BringBackOurGirls has lost momentum


The cause to rescue hundreds of female students, abducted by militant Islamist group Boko Haram last spring, has faded for nearly all but a small group.

Boko Haram, a Sunni Islamist group, began operating in Nigeria over a decade ago with the aim of creating an Islamic caliphate in the country. It has carried out a military campaign of bombings, suicide attacks and killings, and has been dubbed a terrorist organization by the U.S.

Last April, the group kidnapped nearly 300 female students from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. The girls have reportedly suffered abuse, including forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam, and a Boko Haram leader has said they would be sold as slaves.

The crime prompted worldwide horror and an international show of support for the students, marked online by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Months later, they have not returned home and have been largely forgotten, according to Bring Back Our Girls leader Oby Ezekwesili.

“The greatest pain is that I don’t feel my government did the best that it could do for these girls,” Ezekwesili said.

The protesters have been blocked from marching and ignored by Nigerian government officials, they said.

Boko Haram continues to carry out a military campaign in northern Nigeria against the military’s attempt to stop its progress. Fighting has displaced more than a million people.

Warm up questions
  1. Do you remember #BringBackOurGirls?
  2. Where is Nigeria? What do you know about that part of Africa?
Critical thinking questions
  1. In recent months, there have been fewer reports about the Boko Haram Chibok kidnapping. Why do you think this is the case? Why is it important to continue to discuss this?
  2. How can Bring Back Our Girls continue to raise awareness for their cause?
  3. How has the international community played a role in attempts to rescue the students? Has this effort helped? Why or why not?
  4. Some people have called movements like #BringBackOurGirls “hashtag activism” in that people post on social media and feel that they have done something. Do you think social media is an effective way to address problems like Boko Haram violence in Nigeria? Explain.
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