Earlier this month we reported the devastating news about more than 200 Nigerian girls being kidnapped on their way to school. While the young women have not yet been found, one managed to escape with two friends and is talking about the horrific experience.
Eighteen-year-old Deborah Sanya said in The New Yorker that militants of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram arrived at her boarding school on the night of her final exam before graduation. When they arrived, Sanya said the men told all of the girls, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen to you,” but it turns out they were plotting their next move. She says the men took food, stole school supplies and set the school on fire before eventually gathering the girls onto trucks and motorcycles. Sanya admits that the girls were nervous, but still thought they were in safe hands. It was only when the men started shooting guns and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Islam) that she realized the men had lied.
The Boko Harem militants drove the girls to their camp where they forced Sanya and her classmates to cook, but Sanya didn’t eat. She suggested to two of her friends that they should run. They insisted that they should at least wait until the evening, but Sanya convinced them to leave as soon as possible. The three friends escaped, went behind some bushes and started running without looking back.
According to Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker writer who wrote the story, Sanya couldn’t give away any more information. “Her cousins and her close friends are still missing,” reported the magazine, “and she is trying to understand how she is alive and back home. All she can do now, she said, is pray and fast, then pray and fast again.”
As for Sanya’s parents, her father, Ishaya Sanya, said in the story that the Nigerian government still hasn’t informed the families in Chibok — the town where Sanya’s school is located — about where the other girls are and the only updates he has received were from the girls who managed to escape. But, The Washington Post recently reported that the girls are being sold into arranged marriages, though they can’t verify the sources. Samson Dawah, whose niece is one of the girls missing, told his family about the update he heard.
“We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls,” he told them, adding that there had been a mass marriage. ”They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants.”
Village elder Pogo Bitrus told Agence France Presse locals had consulted with “various sources” in the nation’s forested northeast. “From the information we received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were taken… into Chad and Cameroon,” he said, adding that each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12.
A “million-woman march” will be held today at Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and, according to BBC, about 500 people are heading to the National Assembly to hand officials a letter demanding more resources for Nigerian safety forces and, more importantly, for the girls’ safe return home.
Information about where the all the girls are officially now remains sketchy, but Okeowo, The New Yorker writer, wrote on Twitter about the updates she’s received from the residents and parents of Chibok.
Spoke to a parent in Chibok, Nigeria this morning on the phone. They slept in the bush last night after hearing Boko Haram will soon return.
— Alexis Okeowo (@alexis_ok) April 29, 2014
Still so many conflicting figures on the number of Nigerian schoolgirls missing. One parent says over three hundred girls were taken.
— Alexis Okeowo (@alexis_ok) April 29, 2014
Chibok residents told me Boko Haram was still close to town days after girls’ kidnapping, and not yet in Sambisa Forest. Where was military?
— Alexis Okeowo (@alexis_ok) April 29, 2014
A parent with 2 missing daughters was so upset he refused to talk to me. He said there was no point; they had been failed by the government.
— Alexis Okeowo (@alexis_ok) April 29, 2014
Some reports claim all of the school girls are freed, while some reports say that a negotiation between the government and the terrorist group are “within reach” even as the girls’ safety is still in jeopardy. Wherever the girls are, the news about their circumstances should not be shoved under the rug.
News about the Malaysian aircraft and Donald Sterling’s racism has been covered extensively, but stories on black girls, especially those from other countries, are rarely covered. Anyone can actively help in this situation by merely giving it the exposure it deserves. It goes without saying that Black girls should not get kidnapped in any circumstance, but it’s troubling to know that the most vulnerable space for them seems to be the one place that should be the safest.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: We reported on this Change.org petition that is calling for the “right level of coverage in international media” and for international organizations to pressure the Nigerian government to “intensify its search efforts.” More than 38,000 people have signed the petition, but it needs more than 11,000 more signatures. Please sign it here.
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5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
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7. Daddy & Me
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9. One Big Happy Family
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11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
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12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
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13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
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15. Blue & Ivy
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16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
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17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
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20. Beyoncé & Blue
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22. Blue On The Big Screen
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23. Pardon Blue's Back
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24. Jump Around
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25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
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26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
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27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
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28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
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30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
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32. Cuddling With Mom
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33. Blue Ivy
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34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
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36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
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37. Leading The Way
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39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
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40. A Day At The Park
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41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
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43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
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44. Blue Ivy
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45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
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46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
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47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
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49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
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52. All Bundled Up
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53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
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55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
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66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
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68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
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69. Daddy & Bey
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70. Blue's Big B-Day
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71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
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72. Kisses From Mommy
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74. Me & My Daddy
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77. Don't Mess With Blue!
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79. All Of The Lights!
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81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
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"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
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84. Splashin' & Playin'
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85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
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86. Mommy's Hugs
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87. Blue Ivy Twirls
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88. Just So You Know...
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89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
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90. A Kiss For Blue
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91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
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96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
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97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
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98. Blue Jetsets With Jay
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100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
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