Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Play a greater role in demanding the release of Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram
In April 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram, an Islamist and terrorist organization. In June, 200 students still remained missing with very little prospect of international intervention.
Boko Haram is a terrorist organization that describes itself as an Islamic Jihadist group. In 2002, it was founded by Mohammed Yusuf with the intention of achieving an Islamic state ruled by sharia law. The name “Boko Haram” translates to “Western education is sin.” The group publicizes its international ties with other terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda. During the Boko Haram insurgency, the Nigerian government has been criticized for not intervening more forcefully. In fact, in May 2014, President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan stated that the group is responsible for 12,000 deaths.
The kidnapping has received a great deal of international attention, especially through social media campaigns. One example includes a video created by a Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, who first gained publicity when she was shot by Pakistani Taliban after promoting women’s rights to education. During a meeting that took place July 14, 2014, Malala spoke with President Jonathan about the 200 girls who are still missing. In addition, an online campaign supported by Michelle Obama and others called #BringBackOurGirls has gained worldwide attention. Consequently, the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has made his own video mocking #BringBackOurGirls and the efforts of Malala Yousafzai.
Although Britain, France, and the United States agreed to help with finding the remaining girls, very little has actually been done since these Western nations joined the effort in May. Granted, the United States has already donated $80 million towards the effort. However, close to 100 days have passed and still there are no signs of further progress. By signing this petition, you urge President Obama to take make another attempt at rescuing these 200 schoolgirls who are currently still missing.
Dear President Barack Obama,
It has been more than 90 days since Boko Haram, a terrorist organization, has kidnapped close to 300 schoogirls in Chibok, Nigeria. Today, 200 schoolgirls are still missing.
Despite the social media campaigns, including #BringBackOurGirls, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau shows no signs of releasing the girls and has only mocked these campaigns. The United States should not allow for such a public and blatant display of human rights violations committed by a terrorist organization. Even though your administration has donated $80 million towards the efforts in May, very little progress has been made, with many losing hope.
Thus, I urge you, along with the United Nations and other allies, to direct more attention towards the 200 schoolgirls who still remain in danger.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Medina Dauda via Voice of America