c. 2015 Religion News Service
(RNS) Nigerians on Tuesday staged ceremonies to remember the 219 schoolgirls abducted by the militant group Boko Haram in Chibok one year ago on April 14.
In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, demonstrators sang and waved placards calling for the girls’ release. Some wore T-shirts with inscriptions such as #365DaysOn, #NeverToBeforgotten” and #BringBackOurGirlsNOW.”
The girls were abducted from their boarding school by heavily armed Muslim militants. The kidnappings provoked outrage around the world and offers of assistance from the U.S., where the #BringBackOurGirls campaign got widespread media attention.
Meanwhile, a Catholic priest in Nigeria said it was likely the children were still alive since their Muslim captors wanted to use them for ransom.
“They may not be all in one place or together,” said the Rev. John Bakeni, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri. “Some may have died, for obvious reasons. But from the way some politicians are talking, I see their faces beaming with optimism.”
About 50 of the girls were seen three weeks ago, according to reports, although none has been rescued. In Chibok, there were high expectations as the military started combing the Sambisa forest, where the militants are believed to have hidden the children.
Boko Haram translates to “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language. Its insurgents have unleashed waves of violence in northern Nigeria, but the girls’ abduction is viewed as the most terrifying so far.
“It is a deep pain for the families whose daughters disappeared suddenly without a trace,” Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, told Fides News Agency. “I can imagine their anguish.”
Last month’s election of Muhammadu Buhari has inspired a new hope over the children’s rescue. But in a statement on Tuesday (April 14), Buhari said he did not know whether the girls could be rescued.
But he added: “I say to every parent, family member and friends of the children that my government will do everything within its powers to bring them home.”Nigeria marks one year since Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls
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I agree with you, Judi, that they do not have enough suocres in this report. I think, this might be the main reason why readers might feel the coverage is too general and might want to know more details about the story.As for your questions, I think that the best option would be to have a reporter based in Nigeria, or even Kaduna specifically, who knows more about the conflict and covers it for a long period of time. I guess it would be easier for such a reporter to establish contact with people in Kaduna, which would make the coverage more reliable and detailed.Constance, I agree with you that people affected by violence in conflict zones are very sensitive to talk about this kind of issues for a variety of reasons. They might not trust the press; or sometimes they might be threatened if they speak up, even if they really want to tell their stories. I see the link to Judi’s question here, and I believe that it is a reporter’s job to be able to establish communication with people, to get them to talk.That is why such reporting is much more difficult than just taking other secondary suocres as a base for a story ( as I think the RT reporters did in this one. However, I think, this is the type of reporting that all of us would appreciate more and would trust more.
I told my grandmother how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”