The Rest

Jul 24, 2014

Why we’ve lost interest in the Nigerian schoolgirls, 100 days on

It has been 100 days since the Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped. What did #BringBackOurGirls achieve, and where has the outrage gone? United Nations adviser Robert Johnson writes from Nairobi.

Today marks 100 days since the kidnapping of an estimated 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok by militant Islamist group Boko Haram. More than 200 girls remain missing, and the majority of those who have escaped have done so with no assistance from security forces, despite various such claims by Nigerian authorities. There have been reports that two of the victims were raped by their captors and left for dead soon after the kidnapping, and another report of four of the girls being shot and buried for being “unco-operative”.

7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Why we’ve lost interest in the Nigerian schoolgirls, 100 days on

  1. Daly

    Well, they are black, in Africa and were dressed up in Islamic robes by their captors. Why would the western media gadfly attention be expected to deal with a complex issue as explained in this article? Three word slogans shouted in someone’s face didn’t resolve the issue so, shrug, what else can you do? No more footage, no news so no care…… The world we love in is appalling.

  2. Mike Smith

    From Wiki:

    Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism or slackervism) is a portmanteau of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it take satisfaction from the feeling they have contributed. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist. The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is that these low cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions rather than supplementing them, although this assumption has not been borne out by research.[1]

  3. AR

    How much longer before they even forget themselves and their former lives? Most will be pregnant & married (no horse & carriage nonsense) by now and certainly by the end of this year.
    Hands up those who expect an, any meaningful, intervention.
    Me neither.

  4. fractious

    Coincidentally or otherwise (but this cynic/realist goes with the latter), this was accompanied by a falloff in outrage from various prominent outspoken leaders, evidently including (so far as I could see in media reports) the US first lady. Less than three weeks later, Barack Obama celebrated the swap of five Guantanamo detainees for one US marine following negotiations with the Taliban

    As if you need reminding (and I’m sure you don’t) that’s the crux of it. The issue is sufficient to rouse political leaders to take to the world stage and proclaim, but only for that brief period when they feel safe from others pointing out their hypocrisy, and the multi-national business lobbyists haven’t yet begun breaking the door to the PM/ President’s office down. After that variable but invariably short period of global +1-ing, it’s BAU, and the real, hard work is left to those who really do give a $hit.

    And thank you for writing this:

    Without diminishing the tragic and brutal nature of this action by Boko Haram, there is an important broader context. Firstly, prior to those kidnappings, Boko Haram’s actions had resulted in the deaths of many boys, including within schools, which attracted very little media attention outside Nigeria

    The gender of these children should make not a skerrick of difference to how much international media attention such foul events garner. This was and is a crime against innocent children, period.

  5. Long shot

    Shades of the kony campaign. How sad that the world’s attention to these atrocities only ever lasts for a minute until something shiny comes along to distract the media away. How enraged we all were for that minute.

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