Washington, DC –U.S. Senator Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expresses his deep concern for the welfare of the women and girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram at the beginning of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today.
The video follows:
“I want to note my grave concern about the cowardly and heinous kidnapping of some 276 young Nigerian women from their school and claims by Boko Haram’s leader that many of the over 200 who remain missing are being trafficked to neighboring states and sold into child marriage.
“As a father, I am heartsick for these brave young women and their families who were in a situation where they were getting an education and were kidnapped. I look forward to the passage later today of a resolution authored by Senators Landrieu and Boxer condemning Boko Haram and this terrible act.
“Boko Haram is a brutal organization that is waging an escalating campaign of terror and war against its own people to tragic ends—violence they have fomented has contributed to an estimated 1,500 deaths in Nigeria this year alone. And just today we have new reports that Boko Haram may have kidnapped an additional eight girls from their village homes in northeastern Nigeria.
“Later today, I’ll also be sending a letter to the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, pressing him to lead the effort to find the young women and hold the captors accountable. I urge him to work closely with the United States and international partners in this effort and welcome the offer today by Secretary Kerry to provide a coordination cell that will include U.S. military personnel and law enforcement officials with expertise in investigations and hostage negotiations.”