On the second anniversary of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica S. Wilson and colleagues vowed to continue pushing for their return.
“We find ourselves now in a precarious situation, where we are mourning…and hoping,” Wilson said at a news conference at the House Triangle. In 2014, the terrorist group took 276 students from their dormitory rooms in Chibok in northern Nigeria. In video footage released on Thursday and reportedly filmed in December, 15 girls were shown alive.
Boko Haram has since been ranked the world’s deadliest terrorist group after a November report tracking global terrorism said the group killed more people in 2014 than the Islamic State.
California Democrat, Rep. Barbara Lee, thanked Wilson for “keeping hope alive for our girls.” Lee is a representative to the U.N. General Assembly and stressed the bipartisan nature of the issue.
Lee said that, every Wednesday, several lawmakers wear the color red in solidarity with the missing girls. “I don’t think she’s ever missed wearing something red,” Wilson said of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“They are not forgotten, on a daily basis they are remembered by the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said of the girls from Chibok.
The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag went viral after celebrity support, especially from First Lady Michelle Obama. “We believe that in our hearts, these are our girls,” Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel said.
Texas Democrat, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, and Wilson traveled to Nigeria together recently. Jackson Lee said that UNICEF reported on Tuesday that Boko Haram is now using 8-year-old girls as suicide bombers.
“I hope today is a resolution of recommitment,” she said.