Hundreds of people marched through the streets of the Nigerian capital Abuja on Wednesday, calling on the government to intensify the search for 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped two weeks ago, the BBC reported.
Organizers of the Women for Peace and Justice organization called the "Million-Woman March" to demand more resources for the rescue operation. "For how long are we going to wait for the government to help us? We can't bear it anymore ... We just want the government to help us, we want the world to hear this and help us," a woman from the region where the kidnappings occurred told UPI.
A video posted by Nigerian blogger Blossom Nnodim showed crowds of women dressed in red singing and holding banners demanding the girls' return, one reading "We want our sisters home."
Armed militants kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from a secondary school in the north of Nigeria on April 14. While several dozen of the students were able to escape, there has been no sign of the remaining children.
The abductions are believed to be the work of Islamist group Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden." While the group has not officially taken responsibility for the kidnappings, its members are known to have repeatedly targeted schools in their deadly campaign to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
Civil society groups said Wednesday that they believe the schoolgirls have been moved into neighboring countries and sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants.
The Guardian reports that exasperated residents of the school's town of Chibok have pooled money to conduct their own search in the remote bushlands of Borno state. Some Nigerians have called for international assistance to secure the girls' release, according to the Associated Press.
Many supporters have taken to Twitter to express their grief and disbelief, using the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls and #WhereAreOurDaughters.
— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) April 30, 2014
— Nkem Ifejika (@nkemifejika) April 30, 2014
Protesters getting ready for the Chibok march at Abuja pic.twitter.com/NxnRZex1pp
— Waziri Adio (@Waziriadio) April 30, 2014
— Chinenye Ugonna (@cHiNNnY) April 30, 2014