Abubakar Shekau is the leader of a group of Islamic extremists called Boko Haram, who are responsible for kidnapping dozens of Nigerian school girls. The girls were taken on several separate occasions by armed men who stormed the schools and villages, looking for the young girls.
The parents of the girls are desperate for answers and most assume they will never see their daughters again. Shekau was quick to take responsibility for the kidnappings and said that he was holding the girls as slaves.
On Monday, Shekau released a video that showed many of the girls in black Muslim veils, huddled together and chanting Quranic verses in Arabic. On the video, Shekau claims that the girls will not be seen again until the Nigerian government releases his imprisoned fighters.
“I swear to almighty Allah, you will not see them again until you release our brothers that you have captured,” Abubakar Shekau said in the video.
The school girls appear to be unharmed, but the video has caused the parents to become even more worried about their fate. It is not likely that the government will cooperate, and they are afraid that Shekau may kill the girls.
While the man in the video claims to be Shekau, the government claims that it can’t be because Shakau is dead. According to the government, the name Abubakar Shekau is more of a title than a name and when one person with the name dies, another rises to power and takes the same name.
Whether Shekau is dead or alive, the missing girls are still in the custody of Boko Haram and in danger. The government is not sure how many girls were taken but believes it to be over 200. They are working with the United States, Britain and several other countries to determine exactly how many girls are missing and where the girls might be.
Do you think the girls will be found alive?
Image via Wikimedia Commons