- Parent desperation for missing Chibok schoolgirls
- New proof of life of three girls
- UN reports on Boko Haram’s use of child bombers
It is a two-year anniversary nobody wanted – members of the “Bring Back Our Girls” protest group have been tying ribbons on trees in the Nigerian capital in memory of dozens of schoolgirls abducted in 2014 by Boko Haram. They say the activity along with others at this time will make sure the girls are not forgotten. They have also made renewed calls for Boko Haram to free the girls.
But parents such as Esther Yakubu remain desperate for news. She said she has wished for death many times:
“When this incident happened, honestly, I just feel like if I’m not on the surface of this Earth, is better for me than to be alive to see and to witness such.”
The government at the time of the abduction along with the military faced heavy criticism for their handling of the incident. Former President Goodluck Jonathan who refused to comment on the incident for three weeks lost an election on the back of it.
His successor, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a new investigation into the abductions but there is still no end in sight to the heartbreak for the parents.
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Despite a global outcry, most of the girls, over 200 of them, have not been seen since a video was taken of them by the militants after they’d been kidnapped from their Chibok school.
That is until this week when three mothers identified their daughters from a new video released by Boko Haram showing them alive but pleading for their release.
Boko Haram brutality
However under leader Abubakar Shekau, who has been reported killed on a number of occasions, the group has become increasingly brutal even using children as human bombs in Cameroon and Nigeria.
The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer has just returned from the region.
“ When a violent extremist group straps explosives to a seven year old’s midriff and sends her onto a market to blow her up. I mean for me that’s the epitome of evil. I cannot think of anything more horrifying. Northern Cameroon had 63 suicides bombers detonate themselves in one month, the month of January of this year. And over half of those suicide bombers were girls and women.”
Boko Haram’s six-year campaign to set up an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria has killed some 15,000 people and it has been compared to ISIL as one of the world’s deadliest terror organisations.