The missing school girls appeared in a Boko Haram video released on Monday, but there are almost 200 girls being held by the gunmen and the video shows only about 130 captives. Authorities are relieved that the girls are still in a group because if they had been dispersed, it would have made it harder to locate them all, according to NPR News on May 12.
Some of the girls speak on the video, with one girl reporting they were not harmed. The video shows the group posing as if they were in a class photo and wearing the full-length hijab. The video came along with demands that the government release militants from prison.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau talks on camera for about 17 minutes saying that some of the girls have “converted to Islam.” The majority of the girls that were taken by gunman last month are Christians, but some are Muslim, reports the BBC News today.
The video shows the group of girls acting calm and some are seen praying in parts of the footage sent to the government through a media outlet in France. Shekau is never seen in the video with the girls, he is in a separate part of the video, according to CNN News today.
While this video has offered some relief that the girls have not been sold yet, as their captives have threatened, there is no way of knowing when they shot this footage. The video was first received by Agence France-Presse and they posted the clip online, but some parts of the video had been removed.
About 300 girls were abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Fifty-three girls managed to escape. The gunmen came in and took the girls on April 14.
The Boko Haram leader promises that the girls will be held until all imprisoned militants are set free. This deal was rejected by Interior Minister Abba Moro saying it was “absurd” for a “terrorist group” to attempt to set conditions.
John Simpson from the BBC suggests that Boko Haram’s comments shows signs that the group is willing to negotiate. Elsewhere in the world the U.S. First Lady along with many celebrities are holding a hashtag vigil for these girls, which is under much criticism today.
Fox News live showed Michelle Obama looking very stern holding a sign saying “#Bring our girls home.” While it is great they are aware of the crisis with the school girls, the news anchors pointed out that the Boko Haram’s leaders are not spending time on Twitter to see the upset famous faces holding signs.
Michelle Obama holding a cardboard sign and spreading the word through social media is far from what is needed to get these girls home, according to the Fox anchors and guests. This might do the trick if the government or the President weren't aware of the severity of this event, but the President's wife is one of the celebrities, so it goes without saying that he is well informed.