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Nigeria Chibok girls ‘shown alive’ in Boko Haram video

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Thursday, April 14th, 2016
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Yana Chibok

A video released by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram appears to show some of the schoolgirls kidnapped two years ago from the town of Chibok.

The video, apparently filmed in December, was sent to the Nigerian government and shows 15 girls in black robes identifying themselves as pupils abducted from the school.

Some of those filmed have been identified by their parents.

It is the first footage of the girls to be seen since May 2014.

 

Chibok School

The kidnapping of the 276 girls triggered the global social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, involving US first lady Michelle Obama and a host of celebrities.

But despite their efforts, most of the girls are still missing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of parents are due to hold a march in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, to demand the government does more to find their daughters.

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Abuja says they blame the previous government for doing nothing when the abduction took place and now the current administration for failing to devote enough resources to the search.

Boko Haram militants attacked the government boarding school in Borno state on 14 April 2014, seizing the girls who had gone there to take exams.

Shortly afterwards they released a video of them and demanded a prisoner exchange.

Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam and he threatened to force them into marriage with his fighters or sell them into slavery.

As the months passed, about 57 students managed to escape but at least 219 are still missing.

Campaigners are staging rallies across Nigeria for the second anniversary of the kidnapping. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Campaigners are staging rallies across Nigeria for the second anniversary of the kidnapping. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Boko Haram released a video of some of the girls shortly after their kidnap. Photo: AFP
Boko Haram released a video of some of the girls shortly after their kidnap. Photo: AFP

The latest video, apparently filmed on Christmas Day 2015 and now broadcast on CNN, shows the girls pleading with the Nigerian government to co-operate with militants on their release.

They said they were being treated well but wanted to be with their families.

Two mothers, Rifkatu Ayuba and Mary Ishaya, said they recognised their daughters in the video while a third mother, Yana Galang, identified five of the missing girls, Reuters reported.

They were shown the video at a screening organised by local officials in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state.

“They were definitely our daughters… all we want is for the government to bring back our girls,” said Mrs Galang.

Many in Nigeria say the authorities could have done more to find the girls.
Many in Nigeria say the authorities could have done more to find the girls. Photo: AFP

Amnesty International says about 2,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014. Many are used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers.

Although the militants are still launching attacks, the Nigerian army has made progress in its fight against them over the past year, our correspondent adds.

It has retaken towns and villages controlled by Boko Haram and has also freed hundreds of women and children held captive.

Boko Haram at a glance:

Boko Haram fighters still appear well armed in recent propaganda videos.
Boko Haram fighters still appear well armed in recent propaganda videos.
  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, hundreds abducted, including at least 200 schoolgirls
  • Joined so-called Islamic State, now calls itself IS’s “West African province”
  • Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
  • Regional force has retaken most territory last year

 

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