The United States may be plagued with shootings lately, but at least U.S. citizens haven’t been confronted with the sight of a 10-year-old girl with a explosive vest walking into a public square — and that’s one of the probably Boko-Haram-affiliated girl bombers who was caught before anyone was killed, reported The Los Angeles Times.
Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has been raising hell all throughout the region for several years now, first coming to the general public’s attention when 220 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram a few months ago. A Twitter hashtag campaign #bringbackourgirls that was run by everyone from Michelle Obama to Disney Channel celebrities followed, but since then, interest has fizzled.
But whether or not Miley Cyrus is still tweeting about them, the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are far from safe. Authorities now suspect that a string of young women carrying out suicide bomber attacks are comprised of some of the kidnapped girls. At least four of the attacks have been reported. One claimed five lives at a local college’s announcement board. Another walked into a line of people waiting for gas and killed three.
Although local experts are not certain of whether or not the girls are working with Boko Haram, human rights groups such as the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) are calling for further investigation, reported The International Business Times.
In the event that these female suicide bombers are identified to have been the same kidnapped girls, then the government should immediately deploy all resources and strategies to bring to an end, once and for all, this shameful scenario, since the military have repeatedly stated that they are aware of the whereabouts of the kidnaped Chibok girls.
Former education minister Oby Ezekwesili, who has been one of the most outspoken advocates for increased official action to find the kidnapped #bringbackourgirls, has also expressed fear that the suicide bombers are the young women themselves — either indoctrinated by the Boko Haram or coerced through violent means.
This new trend&serial pattern of "FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBERS" surely should PARTICULARLY worry us. It worries me stiff cos of our #ChibokGirls.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) July 27, 2014
According to the LA Times, Boko Haram has publicly announced success in converting the kidnapped girls to their extremist practices, although the claims are not easy to verify. The group’s name Boko Haram translates roughly to “No to Western Education” which was the reason that the girls were kidnapped in the first place, as they were students at a local school.
Boko Haram’s rise in notoriety when the #bringbackourgirls campaign first started was met with criticism — many recalled the Kony 2012 campaign’s quick fall from hot topic to forgotten rallying cry, noted a Foreign Policy editorial about internet activism. Further strides in the Nigeria conflict may show us just how much good all the time web attention did for the conflict in the end.