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Mothers of kidnapped school girls react during a meeting with the Borno State governor in Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State April 22, 2014. Parents of girls abducted by Islamist militants were searching for their daughters in a remote forest, they told the state governor on Monday, adding that 234 were still missing, a much higher figure than authorities said had been kidnapped.
Mothers of kidnapped school girls react during a meeting with the Borno State governor in Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State April 22, 2014. Parents of girls abducted by Islamist militants were searching for their daughters in a remote forest, they told the state governor on Monday, adding that 234 were still missing, a much higher figure than authorities said had been kidnapped.
(Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

ROBERT I. ROTBERG

Nigeria needs to accept West's offers of help to stop Boko Haram

Nigeria’s seeming inability to stem the rise of Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist rebel insurgency, poses severe existential threats to Africa’s largest economy and democracy and to the continuation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency.

This month’s kidnapping of 234 girls from a Northern Nigerian training school, where the girls were sitting exams, is only the latest of dozens of attacks perpetrated this year and many more in previous years by Boko Haram against school children, Christians, and secular representatives of the Nigerian government. As of this week, more than 200 of the girls were still unaccounted for, presumably taken as cooks, domestic workers, and sex slaves to serve the young men of Boko Haram. Many have been married forcibly to their captors and some have been taken into nearby Cameroon.