Malala Yousafzai, the girls' education campaigner who was shot by the Taliban, is on her way to Nigeria to campaign on behalf of the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. Ms Yousafzai, 17 who was an early backer of the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, is due in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Sunday.
As well as meeting relatives of the kidnapped girls, she is expected to seek an audience with President Goodluck Jonathan. Her visit to Nigeria takes place almost three months to the day since the abduction of the girls, who were taken by Boko Haram militants from a boarding school in Chibok, in north-east Borno State, on April 14.
The presence of such a high-profile women's rights campaigner will add to the pressure on the Nigerian government, which was accused in the early days of the kidnapping of not doing enough to resolve it. In recent weeks there has been claims that the trail has effectively gone cold in the hunt for the girls, despite help from Britain, America and France. Officials believe the hostages have been split up into different groups and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest region, an area roughly twice the size of Belgium. Some may also have been taken over the border into neighbouring Cameroon and Chad. Around 223 girls are believed to be missing in total. It was in early May that Ms Yousafzai first joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which successfully focused international attention on the girls' plight. She posed with a picture on her Twitter feed and described the girls as "sisters". Ms Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban as she boarded her school bus in the valley of Swat, northwest Pakistan after she spoke publicly about girls' rights to education. She was transferred to Britain for hospital treatment, and currently lives in the West Midlands along with her family.