Advertisement
News by VICE

The First Chibok Girl Kidnapped by Boko Haram Has Been 'Found' Alive

The abduction of 276 schoolgirls in April 2014 prompted a global campaign, with #BringBackOurGirls being shared millions of times on social media.

by Sally Hayden
May 18 2016, 12:45pm

Photo by Dai Kurokawa/EPA

Activists have confirmed to VICE News that one of Nigeria's missing Chibok girls has been found close to the Sambisa Forest in the country's northeast.

Nigerian activist Allen Manasseh — who was last in Chibok two weeks ago — said that Amina Ali Nkek had been found alone by locals, who took her to a military base nearby. Soldiers then escorted her to Chibok town, where she met her mother who positively identified her.

Manasseh said the authorities are now expected to thoroughly question Nkek. "It's not wise to release her without getting information," he said, adding that this could be incredibly useful in the search for the girls who are still being held.

Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human rights lawyer who has been involved in the campaign to find the schoolgirls, also confirmed that Nkek had been found. He told VICE News she is believed to have been carrying a child.

Related: As Video of Chibok Girls Gives New Hope, We Speak to Survivors of Boko Haram

It has been just over two years since 276 girls were taken from their school in Chibok, Borno State, by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram — currently ranked as the deadliest terrorist group in the world. While 56 girls managed to escape, 219 remained in captivity.

Their abduction in April 2014 prompted a global campaign, with #BringBackOurGirls being shared millions of times on social media.

However, none of the girls was subsequently rescued or released. This would be the first confirmed escape of one of those who were taken from Chibok.

A video made public on the anniversary of the kidnapping this year showed 15 of the girls lined up against a wall, confirming their names and saying they were well. It was the first proof of life that had been released in over a year, and gave hope to families — many of whom are still in Chibok and grieving the loss of their daughters.

Boko Haram has also abducted thousands of other women and children, as they attempted to carve out a self-proclaimed caliphate in Nigeria's northeast. Other former captives have detailed the systematic rape, and forced marriages and conversions that women are subject to while being held.

Follow Sally Hayden on Twitter: @sallyhayd