Nigeria’s abducted schoolgirls seen alive in Boko Haram video

Three mothers of schoolgirls, kidnapped two years ago in Nigeria, identify their children in newly released video by Boko Haram

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A file picture taken on May 5, 2014 of schoolgirls who escaped Boko Haram after being kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok.

Three mothers of schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 from Chibok in Nigeria announced they had identified their daughters in a video released by Boko Haram.

About 15 girls were in the video released to local officials on Tuesday.

The girls said in the video that they were being treated well but wanted to return home and spend time with their families.

Mothers Rifkatu Ayuba and Mary Ishaya said they identified their daughters in the video, while a third mother Yana Galang recognised five missing girls.

"The girls were looking very, very well... They were definitely our daughters ... all we want is for the government to bring back our girls," Galang said.

"We only heard a man's voice and saw his finger pointing at the girls one after the other."

Mothers of kidnapped school girls during a meeting with the Borno State governor in on 22 April. (Reuters Archive)

The video was said to have been shot on December 25, 2015

A senior government source, "Our intelligence and security authorities... received a similar video in July last year and when they followed the lead, it led to a cul-de sac."

Amnesty International's Nigeria director M.K. Ibrahim called for the release of all captives and stated the schoolgirls symbolised "all the civilians whose lives have been devastated by Boko Haram".

"(President) Muhammadu Buhari's government should do all it lawfully can to bring an end to the agony of the parents of the Chibok girls and all those abducted," he added.

Meanwhile, authorities stated more descriptions were needed.

Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls near the northern village of Chibok in April 2014, sparking international outrage and the "Bring back our girls" campaign. 57 students escaped but 219 schoolgirls are still missing.

Boko Haram was established in 2002 and launched an armed insurgency in 2009.

Since 2009, Boko Haram has killed at least 17,000 people, mostly in Nigeria, and displaced 2.5 million others.

About 2,000 girls and boys have been kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2014.

The group has reverted to a strategy of attacking soft targets such as markets, bus stations and places of worship, and also using hit-and-run tactics during its attacks on villages, generally in the Borno state, in northeast of Nigeria.

They have been carrying out their operations in mostly West African countries including Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Nigeria is leading the coalition against the insurgency with about 8,700 troops, along with Niger and Cameroon who are also involved in the effort to restore security in the region.

TRTWorld and agencies