One of 200 girls miss­ing found in Nige­ria

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

ABUJA—The first of more than 200 school­girls miss­ing for over two years af­ter they were kid­napped by Boko Haram mil­i­tants in Chi­bok in north­east Nige­ria has been found, a par­ents group and lo­cal of­fi­cials said on Wed­nes­day.

Lawan Zan­nah, sec­re­tary of an as­so­ci­a­tion of par­ents of the miss­ing girls, said teenager Amina Ali was found on Tues­day near the Sam­bisa for­est close to the bor­der with Cameroon.

“She was car­ry­ing a baby but I do not know whether it is a boy or girl,” Zan­nah told the Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion by phone from Chi­bok.

Hoses Tsam­bido, chair­man of the Chi­bok Com­mu­nity in the cap­i­tal Abuja, con­firmed the discovery but did not pro­vide de­tails.

“It is true that one of the Chi­bok girls has been found and res­cued,” he told Reuters. “Her name is Amina Ali Dar­sha. She was found yesterday in an area of Ku­lakasha at the fringes of Sam­bisa for­est. Right now she is with the mil­i­tary in Dam­boa.”

Ali was sit­ting in a mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle at the area com­man­der’s res­i­dence in Chi­bok, Zan­nah said. He was not al­lowed to ques­tion her be­yond ex­chang­ing greet­ings in their lo­cal lan­guage, Kibaku, he added.

Boko Haram mil­i­tants cap­tured a to­tal of 276 girls in a raid on their school in Chi­bok in April 2014. Dozens of them es­caped in the ini­tial melee but more than 200 re­mained un­ac­counted for. Three moth­ers of ab­ductees said they rec­og­nized their daugh­ters in a video re­leased in April.

The in­sur­gents have killed an es­ti­mated 15,000 peo­ple and kid­napped hun­dreds of men, women and chil­dren in their six-year cam­paign to carve out a me­di­ae­val Is­lamic caliphate in north­east Nige­ria.

Zan­nah said he had first heard of Ali’s res­cue from Yakubu Nkeki, chair­man of the par­ents as­so­ci­a­tion, who had re­ceived a call from mem­bers of a vig­i­lante group in Chi­bok say­ing they had found one of the miss­ing girls. Borno state gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima told re­porters Ali was on her way to the state cap­i­tal, Maiduguri.

The res­cue will give a boost to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, a for­mer mil­i­tary ruler who had made crush­ing the Boko Haram in­sur­gency a cen­tral pil­lar of his cam­paign for the lead­er­ship of Africa’s most pop­u­lous na­tion.—Reuters

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