The more than 200 missing girls kidnapped from a school in Nigeria earlier this month are being forced to marry Islamic extremists, a civil society group said Wednesday.
Parents say the girls are being sold to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told the Associated Press.
“The latest reports are that [the girls] have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad,” Aliyu said. It was not possible for AP to immediately verify the reports.
Some 220 girls aged 16 to 18 remain missing after gunmen from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram rampaged and torched Chibok Girls Secondary School in Borno state on April 15.
Pogo Bitrus, a Chibok community leader, told BBC News: “We learned that one of the ‘grooms’ brought his ‘wife’ to a neighboring town in Cameroon and kept her there … It’s a medieval kind of slavery.”
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau first threatened to treat female hostages as slaves in a video released in May, fueling concerns that the group is adhering to the ancient Islamic belief that women captured during war are sex slaves, BBC News reported.
Miss Aliyu said life in in the region “has become nasty, short and brutish. We are living in a state of anarchy.”
She told AP that she will be among women marching Wednesday in Abuja to protest the government’s failure to rescue the girls.
Nigeria’s government has come under intense scrutiny since the girls were kidnapped, which highlighted the state’s apparent inability to curb the five-year-old Islamic uprising despite having draconian powers through an 11-month state of emergency in three northeastern states, AP reported.