On April 14, Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, stormed an all-girl secondary school in the village of Chibok and kidnapped more than 200 school girls.
Now, the leader of the group Abubakar Shekau has announced that he is planning on selling the girls on the market for marriage.
On Monday, the AFP news agency obtained a 57-minute video from Shekau. The video shows him bragging about having the girls and calling them his slaves.
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," Shekau can be heard saying while laughing with two armed military gaurds standing next to him. "Allah has instructed me to sell them. They are his property and I will carry out his instructions."
Boko Haram means "Western education is sinful" and Shekau makes reference to the fact that the girls were receiving Western education at the school.
It has been three weeks since the girls were kidnapped, and the inability to have prevented the attack, or rescued the girls, is stirring protests at the capital Abuja. The Nigerian government says they are deeply embarrassed by the ordeal and President Goodluck Jonathan said that they are doing everything in their power to rescue the girls. "Let me reassure the parents and guardians that we will get their daughters out," Jonathan said, and then added that they had deployed more militant groups and aircrafts to help with their rescue.
Britain and the United States have offered their services in finding the girls, however not many specifics have been revealed. On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry promised to help. "The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice," Kerry said.
Many of the girls are believed to have been taken across Nigerian's border to Cameroon and Chad. Loose reports revealed that some of the girls have already been sold into marriages for as little as $12.
The hashtag #bringbackourgirls has been used on Twitter more than one million times as people are desperately praying and hoping for their safe return.
— PYPE (@generalpype) May 2, 2014
Just as there is an international hunt for Joseph Kony, there must be an international drive to dismantle Boko Haram. #BringBackOurGirls
— Pierre Whalon (@bppwhalon) May 6, 2014
— Khaled Bey (@KhaledBeydoun) May 5, 2014
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) May 6, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons