It has been eight weeks since the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from their school dormitories in Chibok, in northern Nigeria’s Borno State. The Chibok girls – kidnapped simply because they wanted an education – have become a powerful symbol of a global struggle for equal rights and opportunities.
LONDON – It has been eight weeks since the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from their school dormitories in Chibok, in northern Nigeria’s Borno State. The geopolitical implications are now ramifying across Africa.
Chad, Niger, and Cameroon are being drawn into the crisis, owing to growing suspicion that some of the girls are being held on their territory. And, though a recently signed memorandum of understanding offers Nigeria security assistance from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other powers, residents of remote villages in northern Nigeria, fearful of night raids by Boko Haram and running out of food and supplies, are fleeing to mountain caves or bigger towns.
The governor of Borno State is warning that failure to help his embattled schools will be disastrous for the rule of law throughout Nigeria. Already, the country is being called the “kidnap capital of the world,” with 1,000 reported abductions in the last year alone.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in