Peruvian Vice President Marisol Espinoza is among those lending their support to the social media campaign which encourages military intervention to recover the 276 girls who were kidnapped by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria.
Espinosa posted a photograph on Facebook of herself holding up a sign reading Bring back our girls , an initiative launched in Twitter to raise awareness globally about the kidnapping with personalities from around the world including the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama adding their support.
The Bring Back Our Girls hashtag was first used on April 23 by a Nigerian lawayer, Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, who tweeted the phrase during a speech given by Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, at a UNESCO event. Since then, people around the world have been sharing photos of themselves holding up signs reading #BringBackOurGirls.
On the night of April 14, 329 girls, aged 15-18, were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, 53 of them managed to escape, however they have not yet been found.
In a video, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, admitted to have captured the girls, saying they should never have been in school and should get married instead. He has also threatened to sell the girls as slaves .
In other part of the video, Shekau said that the girls would remain captive until the Nigerian government releases all imprisoned Boko Haram militants. The administration has reportedly rejected the offer.
The name Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden’ in the local Hausa language, and the group, founded in 2002, has been engaged in a violent campaign to create an Islamic state on Africa’s most populous nation.Espinoza is one of the many high-profile international political figures to publicly support the movement.