‘Nigeria marks third anniversary of Chibok girls’ abductions’

On the night of 14–15 April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria.

Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an extremist and terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria. 57 of the schoolgirls managed to escape over the next few months and some have described their capture in appearances at international human rights conferences. A child born to one of the girls and believed by medical personnel to be about 20 months old also was released, according to the Nigerian president’s office.

Since then hopes were raised on various occasions that the 219 remaining girls might be released. Newspaper reports suggested that Boko Haram was hoping to use the girls as a negotiating pawns in exchange for some of their commanders in jail.

In May 2016, one of the missing girls, Amina Ali, was found. She claimed that the remaining girls were still there, but that six had died. A second girl was discovered later in the week, but parents have expressed doubts as her name is not among those originally missing. A further 21 girls were freed in October 2016, while another was rescued the next month. Another was found in January 2017.

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