Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 19th 2016 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 19, 2016
LAGOS---One of the teenagers kidnapped by Boko
Haram extremists over two years ago from a school
in northeastern Nigeria has been found with a baby
and was reunited yesterday with her mother --- the
first of the Chibok girls to be freed since the mass
Nigerian hunters found the young woman and baby
wandering near the Sambisa Forest and her uncle
describes her as traumatised. The young woman told
her mother that some of the Chibok girls have died
in captivity and the others still are held by Boko Haram,
according to family s doctor, Idriss Danladi, who spoke
to the Associated Press after a conversation with the
mother. She is the first of the 219 Chibok girls to be
seen since the kidnapping grabbed worldwide attention
and put a spotlight on the violence of Nigeria s home-
grown Islamic extremists.
Nigeria s military tried to claim her rescue. "This
is to confirm that one of the abducted Chibok school
girls...was among the rescued persons by our troops,"
said a one-line statement from army spokesman Col.
Sani Kukasheka Usman. Hunters took the 19-year-
old---she was 17 when abducted---to her home village
of Mbalala, near Chibok, on Tuesday and she reunited
with her mother, Danladi said. Her father died while
she was held captive, said her uncle Yakubu Nkeki.
Mother, daughter and baby have been taken to a
military camp in the town of Damboa.
The girl s mother tried to commit suicide some
months after her daughter was seized, said Danladi,
who is from Chibok and has treated several of the
parents. He said the mother "suffered a huge traumatic
disorde...I had to convince her that she just has to
stay alive if she really wants her daughter returned
home safe and sound." At least 16 of the girls parents
have died since the kidnapping, he said. Others have
ailments they blame on their ongoing trauma. "I suf-
fered a stroke on Friday, that s why you don t recognize
my voice," said the Rev Enoch Mark, whose two daugh-
ters are among the missing girls. He said the escape
of the first Chibok girl brings renewed hope.
"I believe that, by the grace of God, our daughters,
some of them, will be found if they are still alive."
Other Chibok girls may have been rescued by soldiers
hunting down Boko Haram in the remote northeastern
Sambisa Forest on Tuesday night, said Chibok com-
munity leader Pogu Bitrus. He said he is working with
officials to establish their identities. Boko Haram
Islamic extremists stormed and firebombed the Gov-
ernment Girls Secondary School at Chibok on April
14, 2014, and seized 276 girls who were preparing to
write science exams. Dozens escaped in the first hours,
some hanging on to tree branches from the back of
an open truck, but 219 remained missing.
The inability of Nigeria s government and military
to rescue them led, in part, to last year s electoral
defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan, who was seen
as uncaring and not committed to freeing them.
The United States, France and Britain offered help
to find the girls, sending drones that flew over the
Sambisa Forest, hostage negotiators, intelligence officers
A social media campaign using the hashtag #Bring-
BackOurGirls reached to the White House, where US
first lady Michelle Obama promised her husband
would do all in his power to help. It s not known how
many thousands of girls, boys and young women have
been kidnapped by Boko Haram in a nearly seven-
year-old insurgency that has killed some 20,000 people
and spread across Nigeria s borders.
The freed young woman may well face a difficult
time returning to ordinary life, according to experts.
Boko Haram held a large swath of northeastern
Nigeria where it declared an Islamic caliphate. A multi-
Fresh hope for
Girl kidnapped by Boko Haram found after 2 years
national force from Nigeria and its neighbours has
reduced their territory, reportedly hemming them into
the Sambisa Forest. The insurgents have taken to
hitting soft targets like markets and mosques with
suicide bombers, often girls and young women who
are feared to be among their captives. (AP)
In this May 12, 2014, file photo, taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram
terrorist network, Boko Haram extremists guard girls abducted from the
northeastern town of Chibok. One of the girls has been found, raising hope for
other families. AP PHOTO
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