Two hundred or so Nigerian girls have been kidnapped from school. Some fled and others await a rescue more than a week later. Islamic extremists raided a boarding school and were chased by security and the girls own families. They descended into dangerous forests in an attempt to find them.
Parents have been weeping as any parent would anywhere in the world. Tragedies like the sunken ferry boat in South Korea remind us that life is fragile and sometimes it is just waiting for a rescue.
With hundreds of Nigerian girls kidnapped is anyone or any command in charge of finding them? The horror must be the same as the ferry boat sinking and seen on television with no one being rescued. Watching and waiting is what we do now with phones to transport videos all around the world. News is seen and viewed by millions upon millions of people right as it happens.
Who is rescuing these children? And why were they taken from school? Are they caught in political or religious fights among adults? The parents plead with their government to help them rescue the kids. They pray for their safety, just like the ferry boat we watched floating for days and then finally sinking. Despair sets in deep like the bottom of the ocean. These are tragedies that need better efforts to try and save this many children.
Two hundred still remain missing, although dozens escaped from captivity. Some parents have been warned not to travel in the dense forest without arms. Nigeria did make a statement through its military last week that all but eight of the girls had been returned; they later retracted that statement as it became untrue.
The Nigerian Air Force has had to stop daily air bombs in the forest, maybe this was the tactic of the extremists, so they won’t be bombed by the military. The Boko Haram, a homegrown terrorist group claimed responsibility in a bombing on Abuja but not the kidnapped Nigerian girls.
Farmers, families and others have fled or been forced to go elsewhere, causing food shortages and fear. Some 750,000 people are displaced from their homes. The women and girls in this most recent kidnapping are aged 16 to 18, all in boarding school and taken during their exam time. These extremists set the school on fire and now it is shells. Some parents bought motorcycles and forced their way through the forests looking for their girls. They went thirty miles or so and talked to people who had seen them.
A herdsman who saw the girls told the parents if they went in there without security, the kidnappers would kill everyone. The state of emergency in Nigeria has been set for a year, yet is unable to protect their own children from these extremists and their horrific acts. It seems the military has become powerless with lost control amidst brutality and fear imposed by extremists. These children, young women and girls, are helpless, if their own families and police force with the military are unable to rescue them.
Who can save these children and exactly where are they?
The fear from terrorism or a catastrophe that children are exposed to these days is paramount. Adults and children process these fears seen from news around the world. Adults can talk with others, maybe rely upon their government to take action through military endeavors or peace talks. What do children do with these fears, store them? What do these young girls do, but obey their captors, their kidnappers, so they’ll live. They wait for someone to rescue them. They wait for loved ones, security or government, to come to their aid. These Nigerian girls who have been kidnapped must be brave and wait for their rescue.
By Kim Troike