Bob Geldof Condemns Nigerian Schoolgirls' Captors At First Public Appearance Since Daughter's Death
Rocker and humanitarian Bob Geldof made his first public appearance since the death of his daughter Peaches last month (Apr14) at a London meeting of the Africa Progress Panel on Thursday (08May14).
The anti-poverty campaigner did not speak during the event but chatted with reporters afterwards and condemned the actions of Boko Haram Islamists, who kidnapped more than 220 girls from a Nigerian school just days after his daughter was found dead at her home in Kent, England on 7 April (14).
Geldof blamed unemployment and poverty for the rise of terrorism in Africa, stating, "All these things that you see me going on about - famine, lack of health, lack of education, corruption, war, conflict - are all symptoms of one thing, poverty. Because it's very hard for terrorism groups to get purchase in countries where you got to get up in the morning, go to work.
"At the heart of this is a fanatical ideology that is repulsive, of course, but when it attacks school girls, the world wants to throw up."
He's not the only star to take aim at the Boko Haram militants, who kidnapped the girls as part of a protest over their education - Angelina Jolie called the group's actions "unthinkable cruelty" at a press conference in Paris, France on Monday (05May14), hip-hop star Wyclef Jean has tweeted, "Children are the reward of life. Rescue our Nigerian sisters. The world is watching, Make your voice heard," and celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Alyssa Milano are supporting an online campaign demanding the release of the kidnapped schoolgirls, who were taken to an undisclosed location in the dead of night.
In a video message, Abubakar Shekau, the head of the Islamist group, said he was holding the girls as "slaves" and threatened to sell them.