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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters' Statement on Kidnapping of Nigerian Schoolgirls

May 9, 2014
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), a longtime advocate for international peace, justice and human rights, released the following statement condemning the April 15th kidnapping of some 270 female Nigerian students from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria:

"I am outraged by the abduction last month of some 270 innocent schoolgirls who were taken from their boarding school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. My thoughts and prayers remain with these students and their families for their immediate safe return.
"In a video message released this week, I was horrified to watch Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the extreme Islamist group Boko Haram, admit he was responsible for this horrendous act. It was painful to hear him refer to these young innocent girls as "slaves" and threaten "to sell them in the market." According to media reports, Boko Haram has destroyed many Nigerian schools and killed dozens of students. Boko Haram continues to show an immoral disregard for the most fundamental of human rights.

"No family should have to fear their children could be abducted and placed in the human trafficking market to be sold, raped or killed. Boko Haram has to be stopped and their leader Abubakar Shekau must be apprehended and brought to justice. The Nigerian government should use all means necessary to find these girls and return them to their families.

"The Nigerian government must also accept, with great gratitude, assistance from the United States government and other allied nations. I am encouraged that the U.S. government is already providing counterterrorism support and logistics to Nigerian investigators. I have also joined colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama urging the Department of State to use every avenue possible to assist in the immediate recovery of the missing girls and to support the welfare and safety of all women and girls in Nigeria. I urge our international partners to join with us until these girls are safely reunited with their families and Boko Haram is brought to justice."