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Rescue Effort Intensifies for Nigerian Schoolgirls

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The U.S., U.K., Israel and China are reportedly moving in to help a rescue effort being demanded by street demonstrators and hashtag activists around the world. BBC reports Nigeria is ready to negotiate with the extremist Boko Haram.

Subhead: 
The U.S., U.K., Israel and China are reportedly moving in to help a rescue effort being demanded by street demonstrators and hashtag activists around the world. BBC reports Nigeria is ready to negotiate with the extremist Boko Haram.
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Eleven female U.S. senators joined the international community's campaign for the return of the missing Nigerian girls. 

Credit: Twitter account of Sen. Barbara Mikulski 

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)—International efforts mounted on Tuesday to aid in the rescue of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped almost a month ago by the extremist group Boko Haram, while global protesters kept up pressure in street demonstrations and with the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

The United States is flying manned surveillance missions over Nigeria to try to find more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, BBC reports May 13, and the United States is also sharing commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerian government, officials said.
 
From Jerusalem, Buzzfeed's Sheera Frankel reports that Israeli security forces are already on the ground in Nigeria, gathering intelligence and assisting in the search for the missing schoolgirls.
 
The Guardian reports May 13 that a joint U.S.-British advisory team is being expanded to include French experts and that China has sent experts to help in the search as well. 
 
The kidnappings have stirred global protests and an outpouring of hashtag activism around Twitter.
 
“The universal right to education is still contested in some places, and I take this opportunity to condemn the abduction of more than 270 girls in Nigeria by extremist groups,” said Irina Bokova, deputy director of UNICEF, at a global education forum in Muscat, Oman. “This is an unacceptable violation of human rights. It is an attack against the aspirations of these girls. It is an attack against the future of Nigeria. No belief can justify this act.”
 
In Paris, France’s former first ladies Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Valerie Trierweiler joined demonstrators on Tuesday demanding the release of the abducted girls, France 24 reported May 13. Holding a sign that read, “Rendez-nous nos filles! #BringBackOurGirls,” Trierweiler called for increased security for women across the world, particularly in conflict zones. French celebrities, including film stars, musicians and female politicians, joined the protests.
 
Syrian refugee girls joined the international campaign from Zaatari camp in Jordan. On Twitter, the nongovernmental organization Save the Children posted a photo of 12 girls holding signs “#Bringbackourgirls From The Girls in Zaatari.”
 
 
 
BBC is also reporting that a minister has said Nigeria is ready to talk to Boko Haram for the release of the abducted schoolgirls. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said on Monday that captured girls who had not converted to Islam could be swapped for jailed fighters. Special Duties Minister Tanimu Turaki said that if Shekau was sincere, he should send representatives for talks.
 
MSNBC is reporting that 11 female U.S. senators on Monday night joined the international community in encouraging the return of the missing Nigerian girls by posting an image of themselves to Twitter standing around a sign that reads: “#BringBackOurGirls.”
The BBC is also reporting that relatives and friends of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have identified some of them from a video released by Boko Haram Islamist militants. The footage showed about 130 of the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from their boarding school in Borno state reciting Koranic verses. 
 
Stella Mukasa, a commentator on Thomson Reuters, writes that the kidnappings make a strong case for the passage of the International Violence Against Women Act, which was introduced to the U.S. Senate last week. 
 
  
 

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