Rally Against Boko Haram

About fifty Windhoek residents on Friday gathered at Zoo Park in the capital to demonstrate against the kidnapping last month of over 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.

“Bring Back our girls. Bring Back our girls, What have they done? What have they done?” sang the group.

The demonstrators joined the growing global #BringBackOurGirls movement, which aims to put pressure on the Nigerian government to find the missing schoolgirls and hand them to their families. The protesters bore placards and chanted solidarity songs. Some placrds read, “Bring back our girls”, “Release the girls now”, “We want action now”.

Tanyaradzwa Daringo, of Liberty Namibia, who read the petition on behalf of the group, said in times of grief it is easy to believe that one is alone, and it’s even easier to assume that others are not capable of fully understanding what you are going through.

She added that a threat to any nation is a threat to the entire world and urged Namibian leaders to get involved.

“We need to be asking what are they doing to support the Nigerian government,” she said. “We need to keep this issue alive in our local media – newspapers, blogs, TV, radio, everywhere. Continue to stage solidarity marches. Keep the fire burning online and offline. Because again, if it affects one of us, it affects all of us,” she added.

“Are our borders secure? What are they doing to prevent insurgency? Are there jobs and prospects for young people?” she asked.

Last week the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) issued a g solidarity message for the 200 girls and in the same breath urged the Islamist militants to return them alive. The SPWC added that the girls have the fundamental human right to be educated and the inalienable right to be girls.

Since 2009 Boko Haram, whose name translates “Western education is sin”, has increasingly attacked schools, churches and government installations causing unprecedented carnage in Nigeria.

The Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek joined the growing international condemnation of the Nigerian militants. Last week Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, Biodun Olorunfemi, told New Era the impregnability of the 23 000-hectare forest christened ‘Evil Forest’ where the abductees are held is one of the factors hampering the rescue mission. “The insurgents are on the move within the forest, which is vast and this hampers the whole process. The government has been careful bacause it is not a matter of fighting the insurgents but the aim is to recover the girls alive. Therefore, the government is very careful not to take full military action that could lead to the insurgents using the girls as a shield,” said Olorunfemi.

Source : New Era