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Nigeria's "Bring Back Our Girls" Movement Marks One Month Anniversary Of Schoolgirl Kidnapping

Leaders promise to march next to President Goodluck Jonathan.

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A nighttime vigil in Abuja late Wednesday marked the 30th day in captivity of the 276 girls held by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnapped them from their dormitory in Chibok, a village in northeastern Nigeria.

Other Nigerian cities have also held rallies, and they have been replicated in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Kingston, Jamaica, and even in Afghanistan, leader Oby Ezekwesili told the crowd.

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"The global advocacy for the girls of Chibok started from local advocacy for the girls of Chibok," Ezekwesili said. "The advocacy started online, and moved offline."

Photograph by Ruth McDowall for BuzzFeed

She told the crowd that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which organizers have used to unite the movement and catalyze international attention, has been tweeted or retweeted more than 3 million times.

Hadiza Usman, who began the movement, said she was concerned not only about the kidnapped schoolgirls, but about the indifference of her fellow Nigerians to the suffering from ongoing Boko Haram violence in the north.

Photograph by Ruth McDowall for BuzzFeed

"We as a people were trying to develop a value system that was just about 'me,'" she said, speaking of individualism. "That for me was worrisome... I felt the need to bring together like minds, even if it was just 10 of us."

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The group sang the song that has become their anthem. To the tune of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance": "All we are saying," they sang, "is bring back our girls."

Jina Moore is the global women's rights correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Berlin.

Contact Jina Moore at jina.moore@buzzfeed.com.

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