Home World U.S. News Michelle Obama to deliver weekly presidential address to condemn Nigerian girls’ abduction

Michelle Obama to deliver weekly presidential address to condemn Nigerian girls’ abduction

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Michelle Obama is to deliver Barack Obama’s weekly presidential address to condemn last month’s abduction of Nigerian girls.

First ladies normally refrain from outspoken foreign policy remarks, but Michelle Obama has been a vocal campaigner for the release of more than 200 girls.

Fifty-three of the schoolgirls escaped soon after being seized in Chibok on April 14 but many more remain captive.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack.


Michelle Obama is to deliver Barack Obama's weekly presidential address to condemn last month's abduction of Nigerian girls

Michelle Obama is to deliver Barack Obama’s weekly presidential address to condemn last month’s abduction of Nigerian girls

The United Nations Security Council expressed outrage over the abductions in north-eastern Borno state, and demanded the immediate release of the students.

It said it would consider “appropriate measures” against Boko Haram. The US is seeking to have UN sanctions imposed on the group.

Michelle Obama is due to make the address ahead of Mother’s Day, which the US marks on Sunday.

“As the mother of two young daughters, Mrs. Obama is taking up the opportunity to express outrage and heartbreak the president and she share over the kidnapping,” White House deputy spokesman Eric Schultz said.

“The first lady hopes that the courage of these young girls serves as an inspiration… and a call to action for people around the world to fight to ensure that every girl receives the education that is their birthright,” he added.

Michelle Obama has often appeared alongside her husband during the weekly address, which is broadcast on radio with a video version available online. This is the first time she will deliver the speech alone.

Earlier this week, she tweeted a picture of herself in the White House holding a sign with the message “#BringBackOurGirls”.

President Barack Obama has described the kidnapping as “heartbreaking” and “outrageous”.

A small number of US and British experts have now started arriving in Nigeria to assist the government’s rescue efforts.

A senior US official said Washington was also considering a Nigerian request for surveillance aircraft.

But analysts have pointed out the difficulty of using aerial reconnaissance in the region’s rugged forests.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday he believed the schoolgirls were still in his country and had not been moved to neighboring Cameroon.

Boko Haram has admitted capturing the girls, saying they should not have been in school and should get married instead.

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