BringBackOurGirls protesters to challenge ban in court

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ABUJA – Protesters seeking the of more than 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko said on Tuesday they would challenge a ban on daily protests in court.

The police on Monday banned any more protests in the capital Abuja concerning the to the girls back, saying they could be hijacked by “dangerous elements” who could threaten state .

The girls were snatched from the remote northeastern village of Chibok, near the Cameroon border, on April 14.

“We shall be accompanying to the court where we hope to obtain an immediate restraint on this unconstitutional, undemocratic and repressive act,” protesters spokesman Rotimi Olawale said in an emailed statement.

Much of the anger of the protests, and a #BringBackOurGirls Twitter that helped fuel it, has been directed towards the government for failing to protect the girls. A Reuters revealed that there were a of missteps along the way, including failure to respond to a distress call hours in advance.

supporters say the protesters’ ire should rather be directed at Boko , and that constant criticism of the military is misplaced and demoralising.

The girls’ plight has shone the international spotlight on a violent 5-year-old battle for an Islamic state by insurgents who have killed thousands since 2009. At least 530 civilians have been killed by the insurgents since the day of the .

States troops are in neighbouring Chad on a mission to find them. Britain and France have also offered help.

authorities argue they face an unenviable dilemma: if they try to free the girls, some risk getting killed, or if they offer the rebels money or a prisoner swap, this would only leave them stronger, endangering more lives in the long run.

A reluctance to pursue either strategy has created a stalemate, officials say