It was a bold and brash attack on innocent girls that outraged the world and spawned online activism: Boko Haram, an extremist Muslim group in Nigeria, abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls from a rural secondary school. A few days after the April 14 abduction, 57 of the girls managed to escape.
ANALYSIS: Can Drone Technology Find the Nigerian Girls?
Since that time no more girls have escaped or been rescued, and hundreds remain in captivity. They remain missing despite an international outcry and hundreds of celebrities demanding that the group #Bringbackourgirls. Despite the presence of advisors and special forces troops from countries including the United States, Canada, England, and France, the location of the kidnapped girls remains unknown - or if it is known, it has been deemed too difficult a location to stage a successful rescue mission.
So what happened? How has Boko Haram been able to defy a half-dozen of the most powerful nations in the world? There are several reasons.
First, rooting out the group has been much more difficult than American and Nigerian officials expected. The region where the captives were taken is remote and vast - including the rugged Sambisa Forest where surveillance drones are of little use - and where the Nigerian government has limited influence. Many also blame Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan for not accepting international assistance sooner.