October 25, 2016

Chibok girls: Second schoolgirl rescued – Nigerian army

The second Chibok schoolgirl was rescued during Thursday’s operations in Borno, the army said

A second schoolgirl from the more than 200 seized in the Nigerian town of Chibok has been found, the army says.
Spokesman Col Sani Usman said Serah Luka was among 97 women and children rescued by troops in operations in the north-eastern Borno State.
This comes two days after the rescue of the first Chibok girl, Amina Ali Nkeki.
In all, 217 girls remain missing after their abduction by the Boko Haram Islamist group from a secondary school in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014.
In a statement on Thursday, Col Usman said: “We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government (Girls) Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14 April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.”
“Her name is Miss Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka.
“During the operations, the troops killed 35 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered several arms and ammunitions and other items. In addition, they rescued 97 women and children held captives by the Boko Haram terrorists.”
Col Usman said the army operations were carried out in the Demboa area of Borno.
Earlier on Thursday, the first Chibok girl found, Amina, 19, was flown to the capital Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Buhari said he was delighted she was back and could resume her education.
“But my feelings are tinged with deep sadness at the horrors the young girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life,” he added.
Amina and her four-month-old baby were found by an army-backed vigilante group in the huge Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon.
She was with a suspected member of the Boko Haram Islamist group.

During the April 2014 attack, Boko Haram gunmen arrived in Chibok at night and raided the school dormitories, loading 276 girls onto trucks.
More than 50 managed to escape within hours, mostly by jumping off the lorries and running into roadside bushes.
A video broadcast by CNN in April this year appeared to show some of the kidnapped schoolgirls alive.
Fifteen girls in black robes were pictured. They said they were being treated well but wanted to be with their families.
The video was allegedly shot on Christmas Day 2015 and some of the girls were identified by their parents.
The Chibok schoolgirls, many of whom are Christian, had previously not been seen since May 2014, when Boko Haram released a video of about 130 of them gathered together reciting the Koran.
The abduction led to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which was supported by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
Another campaign group working for the girls’ release, the Pathfinders Justice Initiative, said there was a “renewed sense of energy and hope and excitement” among families of the girls after Ms Nkeki’s escape.
Executive director Evon Idahosa told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme that there was now “no excuse” for the Nigerian government not to step up efforts to free the remaining captives.
“They [the families] are excited but they have also been disappointed so much in the past, particularly during the Jonathan administration [from 2010-2015].”

Boko Haram at a glance:

  • 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, and hundreds abducted
  • 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 now retaken most of that territory

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