Posts Tagged ‘Chibok’

Four British missionaries kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria

October 18, 2017
A militant group pictured in the Niger Delta in 2010. Kidnapping is not uncommon in the area CREDIT:AFP/GETTY
  • Police are trying to rescue the four people, who were taken by gunmen last week
  • They were providing ‘medical care and religious activities’ in Burutu, Delta state
  • Chief Theo Fakama said locals were ‘saddened’ by the kidnapping as the victims
  • Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria 

Four Britons have been kidnapped in Nigeria‘s southern Delta state, a police official said on Wednesday.

The police are attempting to rescue the four people, who were taken by unidentified gunmen on October 13, said Andrew Aniamaka, a spokesman for Delta state police.

He says they include a doctor, his wife and two other men who were involved in preaching and providing medical services to residents.

The four had been providing ‘free medical care and religious activities’ in the Burutu area of Delta state, said Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community.

Four Britons have been kidnapped in Nigeria 's southern Delta state, a police official said on Wednesday. Pictured, Nigerian soldier on patrol (file photo)

Four Britons have been kidnapped in Nigeria ‘s southern Delta state, a police official said on Wednesday. Pictured, Nigerian soldier on patrol (file photo)

Fakama said locals were ‘saddened’ by the kidnapping as the victims had ‘brought succour to residents of the community for the past three years’.

Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria. A number of foreigners have, in the last few years, been kidnapped in the Niger Delta region, which holds most of the country’s crude oil – the country’s economic mainstay.

‘The abductors have not made any contact but we are doing our investigations to know the motive and have them rescued without jeopardising their lives,’ said Aniamaka.

‘Information available to us shows they are missionaries giving free medical services.

‘The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while.

‘But unfortunately, they didn’t let the authorities know of their presence in the area all this while.

There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction 

‘Immediately the militants struck, they whisked the victims to the interior regions of the creek where we believe they are being held for the past five days.’

There was an increase in crime in the southern region last year that coincided with a series of attacks on energy facilities. However, there have been no militant attacks on energy installations so far this year.

On October 14, the Vatican said an Italian priest was kidnapped by gunman just outside Benin City, which is the capital of Edo state and neighbours Delta state to the north.

Delta state commissioner of police Zanna Ibrahim told reporters in the state capital, Asaba, on Tuesday: ‘An anti-kidnapping team is already on the trail of the suspects.’

He suggested the abduction could be linked to a recent military operation against violent crime, which has seen an increase in troops in southern Nigeria.

Nigeria also saw the infamous kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4993582/British-missionaries-kidnapped-gunmen-Nigeria.html#ixzz4vsxBN246
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16 killed in double suicide attack in NE Nigeria

June 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A white sheet covers the bodies of some of the victims of the double suicide bombing in Dalori Kofa village in northeast Nigeria

MAIDUGURI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – At least 16 people died in a double suicide bombing near a large camp for people made homeless by years of Boko Haram violence, Nigeria’s emergency services and locals said Monday.It was the biggest in a series of weekend attacks.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attack took place at about 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday close to the Dalori camp in Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

Regional NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said a first attack by two female suicide bombers had been thwarted by security personnel who stopped them getting into the camp.

“Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people,” he said in a statement.

Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of the injured had since died of their wounds.

“The 16 does not include the bombers,” he told AFP.

Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.

There are nearly 50,000 people in the two Dalori camps, with Dalori 1 housing some 35,000 and Dalori 2, which was targeted in the bombings, sheltering around 10,000.

Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.

– A bloody weekend –

The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.

Also at the weekend, Boko Haram attacked Gumsuri village, 20 kilometres from Chibok, killing five people late on Saturday, locals said.

But they were fought off by local vigilantes who engaged them in a gunbattle.

“The vigilantes got the upper hand. They killed 12 attackers and apprehended six others,” said Bitrus Haruna, a vigilante from Chibok, whose account was corroborated by a community leader from the town.

“The Boko Haram gunmen were not lucky. They were confronted by the gallant vigilantes who killed 12 of the attackers and arrested six of them.”

Then on Sunday, Boko Haram jihadists killed three soldiers in an ambush near Wajirko village, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, a local vigilante said.

Last weekend, gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military in the Konduga area not far from the Dalori camp.

The spate of bombings underlines the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite official claims they are a spent force.

Since the start of Boko Harm’s uprising in 2009, at least 20,000 people have been killed since and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.

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Nigeria marks 1,000 days since kidnap of Chibok girls — 195 Chibok schoolgirls still wait to be rescued

January 8, 2017

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AFP

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday he was hopeful the remaining 195 Chibok schoolgirls will be rescued, as he marked 1,000 days since the mass abduction by Boko Haram that drew global attention to the jihadist insurgency.

Buhari said his government was committed to finding the rest of the more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted almost three years ago from the northeastern town of Chibok.

Only two dozen have been found or rescued since they were seized in April 2014, some of whom had babies in captivity.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (C) poses at State House in Abuja on October 19, 2016 with the 21 Chibok girls who were released by Boko Haram the previo...

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (C) poses at State House in Abuja on October 19, 2016 with the 21 Chibok girls who were released by Boko Haram the previous week ©Philip OJISUA (AFP/File)

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“We are hopeful that many more will still return,” Buhari said. “The tears never dry, the ache is in our hearts.

“Our hearts will leap for joy, as more and more of our daughters return. It is a goal we remain steadfastly committed to.”

In the capital Abuja, Bring Back Our Girls campaigners were preparing to march to the presidential villa later Sunday.

“We just can’t forget the 195 of them that are still there,” Aisha Yesufu, a representative of the group, told AFP.

“We have to look and bring them back home,” Yesufu said.

“They are citizens. If president Buhari’s daughter was taken, would he just stand back? They are as Nigerian as his own daughter.”

– Intense criticism –

Last week, the Nigerian army said it had rescued another Chibok girl, Rakiya Abubakar, along with her six-month-old baby. Another two schoolgirls have been found in the past year by troops.

In October, 21 Chibok girls were released by Boko Haram after negotiations with the Nigerian government brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government.

The release was hailed as a breakthrough that would lead to the recovery of remaining girls in captivity.

At the time, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said the government was hoping to secure the release of 83 other girls, but there has been no update on those negotiations.

Despite winning back swathes of territory from Boko Haram jihadists, Buhari has faced intense criticism for failing to recover the young captives, who became the defining symbol of Boko Haram’s brutal campaign to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in the country.

Nigeria has recently trumpeted a major victory in its battle against Boko Haram, claiming in late December that its army has routed the jihadists from their Sambisa forest stronghold in Borno state.

But Boko Haram still poses a threat to the war-torn region, launching sporadic raids on remote villages in Nigeria and deadly attacks on soldiers in neighbouring Chad and Niger.

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 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

A member of

A member of “Bring Back Our Girls” movement carries placard to press for the release of the missing Chibok schoolgirls in Lagos, on April 14, 2016 ©PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (AFP/File)

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Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Reuters

January 6, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigerian soldiers have found a schoolgirl who was one of more than 200 pupils kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014, an army spokesman said on Thursday.

The troops had found Rakiya Abubkar wandering around near Algarno, a former Boko Haram stronghold, the spokesman said. She had a six-month-old baby with her.

A total of 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok in 2014 in one of the most infamous actions of their insurgency. More than 20 were released in October in a deal brokered by the International Red Cross. Others have escaped or been rescued but about 200 are believed to be still in captivity.

   Boko Haram has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year-old insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

The group controlled an area about the size of Belgium in early 2015 but has been pushed out of most of that territory over the last year by Nigeria’s army and troops from neighbouring countries.

Last month, the army said it had seized a key Boko Haram camp in its last enclave in Nigeria in the vast Sambisa forest. The jihadists still stage suicide bombings in northeastern areas and in neighbouring Niger and Cameroon.

(Reporting by Lanre Ola, Alexis Akwagyiram and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Dominic Evans)

Boko Haram: The Legacy of Terrorized School Girls — “Many of us didn’t stop crying until about three months after we were kidnapped.”

December 24, 2016
By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
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YOLA, Nigeria (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Boko Haram militants decided to release some of the 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped two-and-a-half years ago in northeast Nigeria, Asabe Goni did not dare to dream that she would be among the girls allowed to go home.

During their time in captivity the girls were encouraged to convert to Islam and to marry their kidnappers, with some whipped for not doing so, but Goni said otherwise they were treated well and fed well until supplies recently ran short.

Hungry and ill, the 22-year-old did not even have the energy to stand up in October when the Islamist militants said that any girls who wanted to be released should line up. She just sat and watched as other girls scrambled to get into line.

“I was surprised when they announced that my name was on the list,” Goni told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the first interview by one of the 21 freed girls to international media.

“It was a miracle,” she said, while expressing regret that she had to leave behind her cousin who was also abducted.

A group of 21 girls was released two months ago after Switzerland and the International Red Cross brokered a deal with the Boko Haram. They have been held since in a secret location in the capital Abuja for debriefing by the Nigerian government.

But the girls have been taken back to the Chibok area in Borno state to spend Christmas with their families, returning home for the first time since being seized from their school in April 2014, an act that sparked global outrage.

“I was very happy when they said I should go home,” Goni said in an interview in her family’s home in the northern city of Yola, surrounded by her father, stepmother, five siblings and several neighbors.

The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014 hit international headlines and prompted global figures, including U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and a list of celebrities, to support a campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

But none of the girls were sighted again until May this year when one of the students, Amina Ali, was found in a forest with a baby and a man claiming to be her husband.

Her discovery prompted hopes that the girls were alive and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to ensure the release of the remaining girls in captivity.

“GIVEN UP HOPE”

Recalling the abduction, Goni said the girls, which included her younger cousin Margaret with whom she had lived since she was a child, trekked for three days through Sambisa forest, Boko Haram’s vast woodland stronghold, before they arrived at a camp.

“I was in great pain,” she said. “Many of us didn’t stop crying until about three months after we were kidnapped.”

While the girls were not forced to convert to Islam, the militants told them that they would all be sent home if they did so, said Goni. Neither were they forced to marry, she added.

“But the way they talked to us about it, you would be afraid not to,” she said, recalling how the girls were sometimes flogged with a whip. “That is why some were convinced to marry.”

Goni said the girls were otherwise treated well by the militants. They were given material to sew clothes and fed three times a day until recently when food became scarce.

The girls told state officials they were not abused or raped by the militants, and all tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases, according to a confidential report based on a two-week debriefing prepared for Buhari and seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in November.

When Goni was released, she did not have time to say goodbye to Margaret, whom she calls her sister, or the other girls.

“Some of the other girls left behind started crying,” she said. “But the Boko Haram men consoled them, telling them that their turn to go home would come one day.”

Nigerian authorities say they are involved in negotiations aimed at securing the release of more of the girls, while the army has captured a key Boko Haram camp in Sambisa forest, Buhari said earlier today.

Far away from negotiations and army operations, Goni chatted with her siblings and helped her mother prepare breakfast as she spoke of her excitement of going to church on Christmas Day.

“I never knew that I would return (home),” Goni said. “I had given up hope of ever going home.”

(Reporting by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Writing by Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

Boko Haram kill 24 in northeastern Nigeria: community leader

June 17, 2016

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AFP

© BOKO HARAM/AFP/File | Screen grab from a video made available by Boko Haram shows leader Abubakar Shekau

KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Twenty-four people were killed when Boko Haram fighters opened fire on mourners, a local community leader said Friday, in the second attack in northeast Nigeria this week after a relative lull.

The attack happened at about 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) in Kuda village near the town of Gulak, in Adamawa state, according to Maina Ularamu, a former local government chairman in nearby Madagali.

Adamawa police spokesman Othman Abubakar, based in the state capital Yola, 255 kilometres (160 miles) away, confirmed the attack.

But he gave a lower death toll of 18 and said “many others were injured”.

Ularamu said the attack occurred during a “mourning celebration” to mark the death of a local community leader.

“They came on motorcycles and opened fire on the crowd, killing 24. Most of the victims were women. They looted food supplies and burnt homes and they left almost an hour later,” he told AFP.

“Gulak has been liberated from Boko Haram but the gunmen still live in villages nearby. They attack mostly to loot food supplies.

“Our people who fled their homes to escape Boko Haram attacks have been returning because they can’t live in the camps.

“But now they are facing threats from Boko Haram who launch nocturnal attacks.”

Boko Haram threatened to overrun Adamawa state in 2014, sweeping down from their Sambisa Forest stronghold which lies just across the border in Borno state to Mubi, 80 kilometres south of Gulak.

The rampage, which left bridges and homes destroyed on the only road south to Yola, forced tens of thousands of people from their homes to flee into camps and host communities in the state capital.

– Sporadic attacks –

Boko Haram was driven out of the state by a military counter-offensive that began in January 2015 and since there has been a relative calm despite sporadic attacks in the north of the state.

The last attack in Adamawa was on January 9, when seven people were killed and two others injured in a raid on Madagali.

Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a market in Madagali on December 28, killing 30, just days after President Muhammadu Buhari declared the Islamists “technically” defeated.

There has been a noticeable fall in attacks since the turn of the year and the military claims the Islamic State affiliate is severely weakened and pushed into border areas around Lake Chad.

But Thursday’s attack is an indication that the rebels, who want to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, are not routed, and still have the capacity to strike.

The army in late April began an assault on Sambisa Forest, which is believed to have pushed out remaining fighters.

On Tuesday, fighters attacked Kutuva village in the Damboa area of Borno state, on the other side of the former game reserve, killing four and kidnapping four women.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million people forced from their homes since the insurgency began in 2009.

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A screen grab made Tuesday from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message.  

A screen grab made from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
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Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

chibok.jpg
The Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago (Getty)

 

Nigerian Military Rescues Second Chibok Schoolgirl After Forest Battle

May 20, 2016

Community leader says she isn’t on the list of 218 students missing from the 2014 mass abduction by Boko Haram

An image taken from a video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network from May 12, 2014, shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.
An image taken from a video by Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist network from May 12, 2014, shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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May 20, 2016 6:18 a.m. ET

LAGOS, Nigeria—Nigeria’s military has reported rescuing a second Chibok schoolgirl in a forest battle with Islamic extremists, but a community leader says she isn’t on the list of 218 students missing from the 2014 mass abduction by Boko Haram.

The army says it liberated 97 women and children and killed 35 extremists on Thursday night, including a second Chibok girl identified as 157 on the list of 218 missing girls kidnapped from a boarding school in Chibok.

Community leader Pogu Bitrus told the Associated Press that number 157 has a different name. The list has two other young women sharing the surname given by the military. Bitrus says the rescued girl may have been visiting sisters at the school.

The first Chibok teenager escaped on Tuesday with a four-month-old baby.

Chibok Schoolgirl Kidnapped by Boko Haram Is Found in Northeast Nigeria

May 18, 2016

The girl was one of 276 girls kidnapped from a school in northeastern Nigeria more than two years ago

In this Monday, May. 12, 2014, file image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.
In this Monday, May. 12, 2014, file image taken from video by Nigeria’s Boko Haram shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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May 18, 2016 10:18 a.m. ET

One of the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok by the Islamist group Boko Haram has been rescued, activists and the military said Wednesday, the first such release since the girls were kidnapped more than two years ago.

A vigilante group helping soldiers patrol the Sambisa forest in northeastern Nigeria’s found 19-year-old Amina Nkeki wandering on foot with her baby, according to Sesugh Akume, a spokesman for the #BringBackOurGirls activist group.

She has been driven to a safe location, said Mr. Akume, whose organization has held two years of daily protests for the release of the girls.

Write to Drew Hinshaw at drew.hinshaw@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/schoolgirl-kidnapped-by-boko-haram-found-1463581090

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A screen grab made Tuesday from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message.  

A screen grab made from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
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Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

chibok.jpg
The Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago (Getty)

 

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in April 2014, but despite an international uproar, None was ever found — Until Today

May 18, 2016
Jihadists captured 276 girls in April 2014, but despite an international reaction none have ever been found
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By Adam Withnall
The Independent
 

On April 13, 2016, CNN reported that Boko Haram has sent a “proof of life” video which shows 15 of the girls, the first concrete indication that at least some are still alive.

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from Chibok in April 2014
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Activists in Nigeria say they have rescued one of the Chibok girls, the first since a group of 276 schoolgirls was captured by the Boko Haram militant group in 2014.

The girl has been named as Amina Ali, and a relative said she had been found pregnant in the Sambisa Forest, the area where militants took the girls into hiding on 15 April two years ago.

Local media in northern Nigeria said the girl had been found by the Civilian Joint Task Force, a vigilante group set up independently of the Nigerian army to assist in tackling the jihadist group.

The news was first reported by activists and confirmed by the chairman of the Chibokgirls Parents community group.

Activists said the girl was recognised by a militia member near the border with Cameroon.

The capture of the Chibok girls sparked an international reaction, with people around the world uniting behind the #BringBackOurGirls cause.

Militants raided a school in the middle of the night, loading 276 girls into trucks and driving away into the forest.

Dozens managed to escape in the first few hours after their kidnap, some by jumping off the moving lorries, leaving 219 girls confirmed missing.

As time passed, focus drifted away from#BringBackOurGirls. What started as a call to action soon turned to recriminations against the Nigerian government, accused of not doing enough to tackle Boko Haram in its heartlands.

At the end of last year, the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari sparked controversy by claiming the militant group was “technically defeated”, though the Chibok girls were still missing.

Terror attacks claimed by the jihadists continued, however, and Mr Buhari was forced to defend his statement. In February, he claimed he had meant Boko Haram “can no longer mobilise enough forces to attack police and army barracks and destroy aircraft like they used to”.

Earlier this month, CNN broadcast a video which appeared to show a group of the schoolgirls still alive. Reportedly shot by militants on Christmas Day 2015, its veracity was confirmed by a number of the 15 girls’ parents.

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A screen grab made Tuesday from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message.  

A screen grab made from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
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Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

chibok.jpg
The Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago (Getty)

Boko Haram and Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls: Still held captive after two years?

April 14, 2016

LAGOS (AFP) – 

Here is a snapshot of main events since the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the remote town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria two years ago.

– Snatched from school –

On April 14, 2014, gunmen from the Islamist group Boko Haram seize 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state.

The girls are forced from their dormitories onto trucks and driven into the bush. Fifty-seven girls manage to flee.

An international media campaign is launched, backed by personalities including US First Lady Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.

The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls underpins a social media storm that ultimately achieves little.

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Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claims responsibility for the mass abduction in a video released on May 5, and vows to sell the girls as slave brides.

One week later, a second video shows about 100 of the missing girls. Boko Haram says they have converted to Islam and will not be released unless militant fighters held in custody are freed.

A screen grab made Tuesday from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message.  

A screen grab made from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

– Global response –

On May 17, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria vow to fight Boko Haram together in what Cameroon President Paul Biya terms a “declaration of war”.

The UN Security Council says the kidnappings “may amount to crimes against humanity” and Britain, China, France, Israel and the US have offered help.

US military specialists deploy to neighbouring Chad but later move elsewhere after Nigeria stops requesting their services.

On May 26, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh says the girls have been located but warns a rescue operation would put their lives at risk.

– ‘Married off’ –

On October 31, Shekau quashes rumours of a deal with Nigerian authorities and says the girls have converted to Islam and been “married off”.

– One year on –

On April 14, 2015, Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari warns he “cannot promise that we can find” the girls, as vigils are held in many countries to mark their first year as hostages.

Amnesty International believes the girls have been separated into three or four groups and are being held in camps, some of which might be in Cameroon or Chad.

Buhari says in late December he is willing to negotiate with any “credible” Boko Haram leadership, a week after claiming the country has “technically” won the war against Boko Haram.

– Others freed –

Throughout 2015, the Nigerian military announces the rescue of hundreds of people, most of them women and children, who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram.

But the missing schoolgirls are not among them, despite several unconfirmed sightings.

Suicide attacks using women and young girls increase against “soft” civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, fuelling fears about Boko Haram’s use of its captives.

In March 2016, it emerges that Boko Haram also seized 500 women and children from the Borno town of Damasak just months after the Chibok abduction. The kidnapping had been denied at the time.

– ‘Proof of life’ -.

 

On April 13, 2016, US television station CNN reports that Boko Haram has sent a “proof of life” video which shows 15 of the girls, the first concrete indication that at least some are still alive.

Related:

Boko Haram: ‘Proof of life’ video of kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls emerges on Bring Back Our Girls anniversary

April 14, 2016

The footage, apparently made in December, surfaced two years after more than 200 girls were abducted

By Lizzie Dearden
The Independent

CNN obtained a video thought to have been made in December of a group of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram CNN

Footage has emerged appearing to show some of the Chibok schoolgirls alive two years after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

 

The Islamist group, which has pledged allegiance to Isis, abducted 276 girls from the town’s Government Secondary School overnight on 14 April 2014.

Michelle Obama and David Cameron were among the world leaders and celebrities joining the global “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign but more than 200 of the girls remain missing, with fears some have been killed or forced to become suicide bombers in terror campaigns.

At least 15 of the kidnapped students were shown in a video sent to the Nigerian government as “proof of life”.

The footage, obtained by CNN, shows the girls lined up against a wall wearing headscarves and long robes.

They were each ordered to tell the camera their name and where they were abducted.

All girls said they were from the Chibok school and put the date as 25 December 2015, before one announced that they were “all well” as part of a scripted plea to negotiators.

CNN showed the video to three women whose daughters are among the missing. “My Saratu,” one woman whispered after seeing her daughter, before they managed to name all 15 girls.

One of the mothers broke down in tears as she realised her daughter was not among them.

Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, said the government was reviewing and assessing the video.

Around 219 of the girls taken from the Chibok school, in Borno state, are formally unaccounted for.

There’s been no word of their welfare since 2014, when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said they had converted to Islam and threatened to sell them into slavery or forced marriage with his fighters. Many recently freed girls were pregnant.

The failure of Nigerian politicians and armed forces to rescue the girls brought international condemnation and contributed to President Goodluck Jonathan’s loss in elections last year.

They are among hundreds of civilians captured by Boko Haram, which is known to force some into combat and take random money for others.

International efforts have been launched to locate the Chibok girls, with American and British drones finding one group of around 80 captives, but no attempt to reach them has been reported.

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The Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago (Getty)

Andrew Pocock, who was British high commissioner to Nigeria until his retirement last year, told the Sunday Times magazine that it was considered too dangerous to the other girls to attempt a ground or air rescue.

“You might have rescued a few, but many would have been killed,” he said. “You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

Nigeria’s military has citied the same fears in the Chibok case but boasted last week of the release of 11,595 civilian hostages since February, following a series of raids on Boko Haram-controlled settlements.

The United Nations has urged the Nigerian government to intensify efforts to free the schoolgirls, as well as providing more information to distraught families.

“In the last two years, despite re-assurances from those at the highest level of the Nigerian Government, the parents have not seen any concrete progress in locating and liberating their daughters,” a report for the Human Rights Commissioner said.

“The lack of access to information increases the suffering of the abductees’ families through false hopes and frustrations.”

Additional reporting by AP

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/bring-back-our-girls-boko-haram-kidnapped-chibok-schoolgirls-new-proof-of-life-video-two-years-a6983606.html

Related:

A screen grab made Tuesday from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message.  

A screen grab made from a video shows Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, delivering a message. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
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Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”