The Boko Haram terrorist cell released a video on Monday claiming to show the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state, Nigeria.
In the video, some hundred girls were shown wearing full-length hijab and praying. In the video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said that the girls had been “liberated” and are Muslim now. He then berated the government for holding his brethren captive for years and added that the girls would not be released until the prisoners are.
On Saturday, first lady Michelle Obama spoke out against the kidnappings in her first solo weekly address. In it she remembered the girls and the families they come from for Mother’s Day.
“I want to speak to you about an issue of great significance to me as first lady and, more importantly, as the mother of two young daughters,” Obama said in the video address. “Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night.
“This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education. Grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls,” the first lady added. “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters, we see their hopes and their dreams, and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”
Pressure is on the Nigerian government to locate the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped almost a month ago. Their location is still unknown, but the U.S. government has lent an advisory hand, sending a team of military personnel, law enforcement and hostage negotiators to help in the search for the young girls.
Last week the State Department declared that there would be a $7 million reward for information resulting in Shekau’s capture.