The abduction of more than 200 girls from the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok has understandably taken an immense toll on the community, and particularly the families, involved. However, the Associated Press has a report that shows the impact on the families of the girls has been particularly severe. Startlingly, 11 parents of the schoolgirls have died in the three months since their abduction. Chibok has been cut off from government control by Boko Haram, which has staged repeated attacks that show no sign of abating.
Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to the Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month, said a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals by the extremists. At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on trauma due to the mass abduction 100 days ago, said community leader Pogu Bitrus, who provided their names. "One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," said Bitrus.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with the parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls and some of girls that managed to escape on Tuesday. Jonathan, and the Nigerian government, have faced intense criticism for their handling of the mass abduction. “Mr. Jonathan said the government wanted to avoid a rescue effort that could lead to the girls being killed,” the BBC reports. “The US, UK, France, China and Israel have been helping in operations to secure the release of the girls, who are believed to be held in the Sambisa forest, near Nigeria's border with Cameroon.”
TODAY IN SLATE
Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada
Now, journalists can't even say her name.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.