100 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram last month are released
Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has released 101 of the 110 girls abducted from a boarding school last month. Government sources said that the number “would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented.”
The militants drove into Dapchi early in the morning. in nine vehicles and the girls were left in the centre of town, outside their school. Residents in Dapchi fled when they heard that Boko Haram vehicles were heading toward their town. “We fled but, from our hiding, we could see them and surprisingly, we saw our girls getting out of the vehicles,” said one of the residents.
Before they left, militants told residents they “did it out of pity” and issued a warning: “Don’t ever put your daughters in school again.” Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.
Some of the released girls returned to their homes in surrounding villages. Family members were headed for the town on Wednesday morning. Bashir Manzo, whose 16-year-old daughter was among those kidnapped on 19 Feb confirmed that his daughter was among those freed. “As I speak to you there is jubilation in Dapchi,” he said. Parents said the girls had been taken for medical check-ups after their ordeal.
Three of the kidnapped told reporters that they were not mistreated during their time in captivity and were given food to cook. However, they said “When we were being taken away, five of us died on the way. Fatima Gremah, 13, who was among those released, said “Boko Haram said we were lucky we were young and also Muslims. One of us who is a Christian has been left behind. They said celebrex online they would keep her until she converted. If she converts, they will release her. She is the only one among us left behind.” From details of the girls released by federal government shortly after their abduction, Liah Sharibu is the girl still being held.
Fatima said they were held on an island on Lake Chad, which is a known stronghold for Boko Haram fighters loyal factional leader Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi. “They just told us on Saturday to get onto boats. We spent three days on the water before coming to shore, then they put us in vehicles and said they were taking us back home,” she said. “They brought us back this morning, dropped us outside the motor park and said we should all go home and not go to the military because they will claim to have rescued us.” Bashir Manzo, who heads a parents’ support group in Dapchi, said:“These girls were not accompanied by any security personnel.
The release of the Dapchi girls comes a day after an Amnesty International report accused the Nigerian military of failing to heed several warnings of the imminent attack last month. The military has called the report an “outright falsehood.”
Financial motives were probably behind the Dapchi kidnapping following government ransom payments made to Boko Haram to secure the release of some of the Chibok captives. However, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said: “No ransoms were paid.” A statement claimed the girls were released “through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional” but did not elaborate further.
Military operations in and around Dapchi had been suspended “to ensure free passage” of the girls and also to ensure “that lives were not lost”, he added Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said last week the government had “chosen negotiation” to secure the return of the Dapchi girls rather than use military force.
The Islamic State (IS) group affiliate has not claimed responsibility for the abduction but given the location, Barnawi and his fighters are thought to be responsible. Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during its nearly nine-year insurgency which has claimed at least 20,000 lives and made more than two million others homeless.