Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and Barbara Lee and Karen Bass (both D-Calif.) added their voices to protests demanding that the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls be returned safely.
The four women, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, were joined by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) as they held a press conference outside the Nigerian Embassy on Wednesday.
“We are anguished as mothers, grandmothers and lovers of children that this is what the children, the girls in Nigeria are worth,” Jackson Lee said while holding up $12, the amount of money the girls are said to have been sold for by their kidnappers. “And so our first command and demand is to use all resources to bring the terrorist thugs to justice.”
“We want our girls back and we want them back now. We want this terrorist group brought to justice, and we want the slaughter and the intimidation, the trafficking, the murders, we want this stopped today,” Barbara Lee added.
It’s been almost a month since more than 250 schoolgirls were taken from their Nigerian school and seemingly disappeared without a trace. Boko Haram, a militant group that has taken responsibility for the abductions, has threatened to sell the girls on the market.
On Tuesday the Obama administration began prepping a team of law enforcement, military and hostage negotiators to help the Nigerian government with the volatile situation.
The women of the CBC also called on the international community for support in the creation of a relief fund to support the girls and women who have been victims of Boko Haram.
“This is a crime against humanity,” Barbara Lee told The Root. “These girls in Nigeria could be sold into the sex-slave industry, which is of course an international problem. … [This is a] glaring example of what has to stop.”