Don't miss




France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more


Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more


Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more


Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more


French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more


Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more


Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

Read more


Boko Haram threatens to 'sell' kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

© AFP file picture

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-09-25

The leader of the Boko Haram Islamist group claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria last month and threatened to sell them in a video obtained by AFP on Monday.

"I abducted your girls," the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in the 57-minute video.

Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sinful", has been waging a bloody insurgency to establish sharia law in northern Nigeria.

"I have kidnapped a girl in an school with Western education and that bothers you. I say that Western education must end – it must end! The girls must leave and get married," he said. (See video below.)

Shekau also threatened to sell the girls.

"By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace,'' he said in the video, which starts off with Islamist fighters lofting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant "Allahu akbar!'' ("God is great'').

The students, aged between 15 and 18, were seized at gunpoint on April 14 after the insurgents stormed a school in Chibok in the northeastern state of Borno.

Tanko Lawan, Borno state's police commissioner, said on Friday that 223 girls are thought to still be missing, while 53 had escaped.

Unconfirmed reports this week indicated that some of the students have been forced into “marriage” with their extremist abductors, who paid a nominal bride price equivalent to $12.

Other reports said that some of the girls had been taken across the border to Chad or Cameroon.

In his first public comments on the abduction, President Goodluck Jonathan said Monday that authorities still did not know where the girls were but expressed optimism that they would be found.

“We believe that, wherever these girls are, we will get them out,” he said in his televised comments.

Jonathan went on to request “maximum cooperation” from the girls’ parents and guardians, saying that they had not always been forthcoming with police in sharing details of the identities of the missing girls.

Jonathan also said that he had asked for military support from US President Barack Obama to help find the missing girls and was seeking closer cooperation with France, Britain and China on internal security matters. 

Activist arrested after meeting first lady

A Nigerian woman who helped lead protests demanding the release of the schoolgirls was briefly arrested on Monday after meeting with Nigeria's First Lady Patience Jonathan, activists said.

The first lady's office has denied reports that she ordered the arrest.

A group called "Bring Back Our Girls" has organised a series of protests around the country and online to demand that the Nigerian government and military do more to rescue the hostages.

Naomi Mutah was part of a group that met with the first lady late on Sunday to discuss the abduction.

Protest organiser Hadiza Bala Usman told AFP that Mutah was arrested at around 3am (2am GMT) at the presidential villa because she had falsely identified herself as a mother of one of the hostages. She was released about 12 hours later.

"She was told that she made a false claim of being a mother of the Chibok girls, whereas she is not," Usman said.

Mutah, who is from Chibok and helped lead protests in Abuja last week, was in fact representing a group of mothers who could not make it to Abuja for the meeting with the first lady, Usman said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)


'Western education must end...The girls must leave and get married.'

Date created : 2014-05-05


    Relatives of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls call for foreign help

    Read more


    Fury at schoolgirls’ abduction mounts in Nigeria

    Read more


    Nigerian elder says abducted girls ‘sold’ as ‘wives’ to jihadists

    Read more