“We are suffering here. There is no kind of suffering we haven’t seen.”
With these words Dorcas Yakubu, kidnapped 28 months ago by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, made a plea via a new video released online this week by Boko Haram, for the Nigerian government to solve the current impasse in negotiations with the terrorist group to enable the captured girls to be released.
“Our sisters are injured,” said Dorcas on the video in her local Kibaku language. “We are all children and we don’t know what to do. The suffering is too much.”
“The video appears to be another element in the psychological warfare going on between Boko Haram and the Government,” commented Saudatu Mahdi, Secretary General of the Women’s Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), a member of the Nigerian #BringBackOurGirls organization and a partner of Donor Direct Action. “It puts more pressure on the Government by reminding us all that the girls are still kidnapped and the Government has not been able to rescue them.”
Doras was identified as the girl in the video by her mother, Esther, who lives near Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. According to the #BringBackOurGirls organization, several other girls in the video were also identified which “leaves no room for doubt that these are our girls.”
“After listening to the call of Dorcas Yakubu,” #BringBackOurGirls said in a statement, “we demand an immediate, transparent, action- and results-oriented response plan by the Government.”
According to the organization, the Government continues to use the “excuse” of a split within the terrorists’ ranks and the need for a “period of validation of the authenticity of their claims” for not taking action. This will “not suffice this time.”
“Nothing short of the military being in contact with the parents, confirming the identities of our girls, providing psychological support where necessary, and most importantly, articulating an action plan will be acceptable,” the group stated.
The #BringBackOurGirls organization called on the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and other western countries, along with the United Nations and the African Union, to “reengage and adopt a strategic rescue position.”
“Our government, and the world, cannot continue to fail these innocent young women whose only crime is their decision to be educated. If we do, we would have failed to defend our civilization and shared humanity.”
#BringBackOurGirls marched to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, on 22 August, to demand action from the President to free the 219 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls. Esther Yakubu, mother of Dorcas who featured in the Boko Haram video, was part of the demonstration. But she and the hundreds of other demonstrators were turned away and nobody from the government spoke with them.