Saturday, May 10, 2014

Timeline of Events On the Abduction of Chibok School Girls in Northern Nigeria

 Timeline of Events

This timeline, based on news reports, summarizes the events that followed the abduction of almost 300 girls in northern Nigeria. Check back for updates.

Monday, April 14
  • Residents of Chibok received phone calls on Monday night from residents in neighboring villages, who had seen convoys of vehicles (trucks, buses, motorcycles) with heavily armed militants heading toward Chibok (The Guardian).
  • They warned of an attack by Boko Haram (The Guardian).
  • The militants and the convoys arrived at Chibok around 9 p.m. and headed straight for the Girls Government Secondary School (CNN).
  • They engaged in gunfire with around 15 soldiers who were stationed at Chibok and the Girls Government Secondary School (The Guardian), killing two soldiers (CNN). The soldiers were outnumbered and reinforcements didn’t arrive (The Guardian).
  • The militants, who were dressed in Nigerian military uniforms according to escaped girls, then entered the buildings where the girls were sleeping (The New Yorker). They told the girls not to worry, that they were taking them to safety (The New Yorker). Some of the girls thought the men were Nigerian soldiers protecting them, but then realized the men were not when they shouted, “Allahu akbar” (Sydney Morning Herald).
  • Over 270 girls, who were mostly between 16 and 18 years old, were rounded up at gunpoint and loaded into the vehicles (The Guardian). According to the Guardian, the whole event lasted 5 hours, running into the early hours of Tuesday (The Guardian).
  • Some girls escaped that night, jumping off of trucks, grabbing onto swinging branches (The Telegraph), or running out of vehicles that were broken down (CNN).
  • The school was among the 85 secondary schools that the Borno state officials had closed since March because of attacks and threats by Boko Haram, but the girls had returned to take their final exams (NYTimes).
Tuesday, April 15
  • Small reports from BBC News and Associated Press about abduction. Very little information is known at the time. Reports say only 100 girls missing.
Wednesday, April 16
  • The Nigerian military stated: “Just eight of the 129 abducted school girls were still missing.” (CNN)
  • Major General Chris Olukolade stated that “One of the alleged attackers has been captured, and a military search-and-rescue operation is ongoing to ‘ensure the safety of the remaining students.’” (CNN)
  • “Soldiers and the Civilian Joint Task Force, as well as volunteers from the area, are now combing the forest to rescue the schoolgirls. They are aided by surveillance helicopters to locate the kidnappers' position.” (CNN)
Thursday, April 17
  • Conflicting with the Nigerian military, parents registered over 230 girls missing, a number much higher than reported by the government. (CNN)
  • On April 17, the Nigerian military retracted the report on the missing girls. The director of defense said the initial report was “not intended to deceive the public.” (CNN)
  • On Thursday and Friday, there were conflicting reports of how many girls were still missing and those who had managed to escape. Asabe Kwambura, principal of Government Girls Secondary School, stated 14 girls escaped and returned. Musa Inuwa Kubo, the Borno state education commissioner, said 30 girls had escaped.(CNN)
  • Parents made several attempts to venture into the “vast forests where militant camps are located – and where near-daily air raids by the Nigerian army have been halted since the kidnappings – many said they had little faith in the government.” (The Guardian)
April 23
  • First time #BringBackOurGirls is used on Twitter. At April 23 UNESCO World Book Capital City opening ceremonies, VP of World Bank Africa Oby Ezekwesil demanded the release of the girls, saying, “Bring back the girls.” Ibrahim M. Abdullahi tweeted the statement with #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters. (Mashable)
April 28
  • Borno state governor said that eight more girls had escaped over the weekend, meaning a total 52 had fled. (BBC News)
April 29
  • Malala Yousafzai speaks with BBC Radio 4 about the abducted girls in Nigeria, calling the girls her sisters, and saying that every girl has a right to an education, that Boko Haram is abusing Islam, and that the international community must listen and must raise their voices. (BBC Radio 4)
April 30
  • New outlets reporting girls are being sold by Boko Haram for $12 and are being taken across border to Chad and Cameroon. (Washington Post)
  • Spike in international tweets mentioning #BringBackOurGirls in response to girls being sold as slaves. (Mashable)
  • One Million Women March in Abuja, Nigeria, including mothers and families of missing girls, women from Chibok, and hundreds of Nigerians in protest about government and military response. (The Guardian)
  • Petitions on Change.Org and the begin appearing to pressure U.S. and UN to send aid to Nigerian military. (Mashable)
May 1
  • Social media campaign takes off in U.S. with celebrities such as Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown tweeting to #BringBackOurGirls. It was tweeted 268,616 times on May 1. (Mashable)
May 3
  • John Kerry states that the U.S. will help in search for missing girls during a speech in Ethiopia, beginning the first official U.S. governmentt response to Nigeria. (Washington Post)
May 4
  • President Goodluck Jonathan makes statement vowing to find missing girls, three weeks after they were abducted. Jonathan is facing criticism from parents of missing girls, many Nigerians, and also international pressure. (TIME)
May 5
  • Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau publishes a video saying they kidnapped the girls and will sell them on international “human market.” (The Guardian)
  • Reports of 11 more girls kidnapped from two more Borno state villages, as well as reports that two girls had died of snake bites and 20 girls are ill. (Associated Press)
May 6
  • President Obama makes statement that the U.S will send help to the Nigerian military and government, including small team of advisors on military, hostage situations, and law enforcement. (TIME)
May 7
  • FLOTUS Michelle Obama posts to Twitter and Instagram a photo of her holding a #BringBackOurGirls sign, and it’s been retweeted 45,310 times so far. (ABC News)
  • Nigerian police offer $300,000 reward for information on location of girls. (LA Times)
  • As of May 7, #BringBackOurGirls has been tweeted 1.3 million times…and counting. (BBC News)
  • As of May 7, there have been over 30 protests worldwide against the abduction and government’s response, and in support of the missing girls and their families. Many more are planned for following weeks, with more being added daily across the globe. (Bring Back Our Girls)
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