On April 14 2014, the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a boarding school in the northern town of Chibok. The abduction sparked global outrage and the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls.
Tuesday marks the attack’s first anniversary. Rallies are taking place around the world for the more than 200 girls who remain missing. Many of the marches, like this one in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, have called on schools to participate.
Schoolgirl marches and demos are due to take place around the world at different times. This school in New Zealand held its event earlier, and more are lined up across Europe and the U.S. later.
There are also other protest events taking place, like this one in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, featuring the Nobel-Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka.
And some people are taking a stand individually by posting selfies with #BringBackOurGirls signs.
Boko Haram, based in north-eastern Nigeria, began its attacks in 2009 and has since launched increasingly violent assaults on Africa’s most populous country. An ongoing battle that pits the Islamists against Nigeria’s government and informal vigilante groups has claimed around 15,000 lives, with around half of those deaths happening in 2014, according to a Unicef report released on Monday.
Michelle Obama, the U.S First Lady, and Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel-Prize-winning Pakistani women’s rights activist, are among the famous women to have supported the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Yousafzai posted this audio message to the missing girls on her website last week in the run-up to the anniversary.
Nigeria’s president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, who is due to take office later this month, campaigned hard on a vow to quash Boko Haram if elected. Buhari said on Tuesday that, while he would make every effort to find the girls, he could not promise he would succeed.