Friday 30 September 2016

Five things you need to know about Nigeria's missing Chibok schoolgirls

Published 18/05/2016 | 14:59

A video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The first of more than 200 schoolgirls missing after being kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from Chibok in northeast Nigeria more than two years ago has been found.

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Teenager Amina Ali, carrying a baby, was found yesterday near the Sambisa forest.

Here are five key facts about the Chibok schoolgirls:

1. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram militants kidnapped 276 school girls, mostly aged between 16 and 18, from a secondary school in Chibok in Borno State, northeast Nigeria. About 50 of the girls escaped but 219 were captured.

2. Nigeria's government and military faced heavy criticism for their handling of the incident, with towns and cities across the nation witnessing protests.

3. The kidnappings prompted a strong social media reaction, with the phrase #bringbackourgirls tweeted around 3.3 million times by mid-May 2014. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama joined the campaign, as did Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban after campaigning for girls' education.

4. Hope for the girls was briefly raised in April, 2015, when the Nigerian military announced it had rescued 200 girls and 93 women from the Sambisa forest. It was later revealed that the Chibok girls were not among them.

5. About 2,000 girls and boys have been kidnapped by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014, according to Amnesty International, which says they are used as cooks, sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers.

Reuters

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