It's been more than two weeks since 234 schoolgirls were kidnapped by militants in northeastern Nigeria, and their fate is still unknown. The girls' families are relying on rumors for news, and those rumors have become even more disturbing.
A Guardian reporter in Nigeria says the latest word is that the girls have been taken out of the country into neighboring Chad and Cameroon, and are being sold to the militants as wives for the bride price of around $12 USD each.
The mass kidnapping took place April 14 at a boarding school near territory controlled by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Militants, posing as soldiers, rounded up the girls at gunpoint and loaded them onto trucks, according to ABC.
About 40 of the girls managed to escape, but nearly 200 are still being held captive, and their families say the government just isn't doing enough to rescue them.
According Al Jazeera, Two days after the abduction, the Nigerian military announced it had freed nearly all of the girls. That of course turned out not to be true.
So the military's promise that it's now doing everything in its power to rescue the girls rings hollow for many Nigerians. One activist told the BBC:
"There is no effort at all that is being expended by the government to reach out and get these children. We're very sure."
Wednesday, hundreds of women gathered in the capital Abuja to protest government inaction, and reporters say the victims' families have started trying to rescue the girls themselves, according to ITV.
One BBC reporter even wryly observed that the U.K.'s foreign secretary has said more about the missing girls than Nigeria's own president.
The families of the missing girls are planning another rally for Saturday.