Fifty-seven victims escaped captivity in 2014, but the fates of the remaining 219 remain unknown despite international outrage over the incident.
Clinton on Thursday said that locating the missing girls is essential for improving gender equality worldwide and discouraging future terrorism.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it improves security and prosperity for everyone,” the former secretary of State said. “That starts with freeing the Chibok girls and stopping the terror of Boko Haram.”
The Republican National Committee attacked Clinton for her statement.
“When the CIA, Department of Justice, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers pleaded with Hillary Clinton’s State Department to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group, her agency refused,” said RNC spokesman Michael Short. “Clinton’s pleas ring hollow given her failure to act and are another reminder that the failed foreign policy she crafted as Obama’s Secretary of State has made the world less safe.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said the global community must not give up hope of freeing the remaining captives.
“We must and we will bring back the girls,” she said during a press conference on Capitol Hill. “They are not forgotten. On a regular, almost daily basis, they are remembered in the Congress of the United States.”
First lady Michelle Obama brought global attention to the Chibok victims by sharing a photo labeled #BringBackOurGirls in 2014. The image went viral, bringing international attention to the struggles West Africa faces from radical Islam.
Boko Haram — whose name translates to “Western education is forbidden” — has menaced the region with kidnappings, suicide bombings and sexual slavery. The Institute for Global Economics and Peace ranked it the most deadly terrorist group in 2014, blaming it for 6,644 deaths that year.
— This post was updated at 5:15 p.m.