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Amazons heroines 2:

Nigerian schoolgirls fighting back.

Intro: in the Arabic language haram means anything bad or forbidden by the extreme jihadis who have nothing to do with the Koran.

This indepth artictle has been by far the hardest I ever 'composed', by far because who is to believe: the quotet correspondent, the Nigerian government, the boko haram. Well, in the end I only believe the abductet/victims and escapees/witnesses.

Timeline starting 2014

Lagos - The abduction of 111 schoolgirls by jihadist militants in Nigeria.

Four years after a group of 272 girls has been kidnapped from Chibok,the same school and a case that shocked only the world then.

In the latest mass kidnapping, Boko Haram snatched the girls on February 19 from their boarding school in the northeastern town of Dapchi, around 300km from Chibok.

Here is a recap of the case of the Chibok girls, 112 of whom are still believed to be held.

Snatched from school.

On April 14, 2014 Boko Haram gunmen seize 272 girls aged 12 to 17 from the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state.

The girls are forced from their dormitories onto trucks and driven into the bush. Fifty-seven manage to flee.

Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau claims responsibility in a video released on May 5 and vows to sell the girls as slave brides.

A week later a second video shows about 100 of the missing girls. Boko Haram says they have converted to Islam and will not be released unless militant fighters held in custody are freed.

An international media campaign demanding the release of the girls is launched, backed by A-list celebrities and politicians, and the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls goes viral.

One year on

On April 14, 2015 Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari warns he "cannot promise" that the girls will be found, as vigils are held to mark their first year in captivity.

In September 2015 Buhari raises the possibility of an exchange of Boko Haram prisoners for the girls.

In December he says he is willing to negotiate with any "credible" Boko Haram leadership if there is proof the girls are alive.

'Proof of life'

In April 2016, on the eve of the abduction's second anniversary, it emerges that Boko Haram has sent a "proof of life" video to the government.

It shows 15 of the girls in black hijabs in the first concrete indication that at least some are still alive.

In May 2016 the Nigerian army confirms the first of the schoolgirls has been found. Aged 19, she has a four-month-old baby and is found with a man she describes as her husband near Boko Haram's Sambisa Forest enclave.

First releases

In October 2016 Nigerian officials announce the release of 21 of the girls following talks between the government and Boko Haram, brokered by Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Local sources say four jihadist prisoners were freed as part of the deal.

The army finds two other girls in November 2016 and January 2017.

In May 2017 another 82 girls are released in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders as part of the same talks.

Later that month, Boko Haram release a video in which a woman claiming to be one of the Chibok girls is seen wearing a black veil and holding a gun.

She proclaims loyalty to Boko Haram and says she does not want to return to her parents.

Early January 2018 the Nigerian army says it has rescued another of the girls in Borno. In all, 107 of the 219 held since 2014 have either escaped or been released.

The militants release a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the Chibok schoolgirls, some carrying babies, saying they were comfortable and wanted to stay with the group.

In May 2017 another 82 girls are released in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders as part of the same talks.

Later that month, Boko Haram release a video in which a woman claiming to be one of the Chibok girls is seen wearing a black veil and holding a gun.

She proclaims loyalty to Boko Haram and says she does not want to return to her parents.

Early January 2018 the Nigerian army says it has rescued another of the girls in Borno. In all, 107 of the 219 held since 2014 have either escaped or been released.

The militants release a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the Chibok schoolgirls, some carrying babies, saying they were comfortable and wanted to stay with the group.

In mid-February a man involved in the kidnapping is jailed for 15 years in the first conviction in relation to the Chibok case.

Early January 2018 the Nigerian army says it has rescued another of the girls in Borno. In all, 107 of the 219 held since 2014 have either escaped or been released.

The militants release a new video purporting to show at least 14 of the Chibok schoolgirls, some carrying babies, saying they were comfortable and wanted to stay with the group.

In mid-February a man involved in the kidnapping is jailed for 15 years in the first conviction in relation to the Chibok case.

Early January 2018 the Nigerian army says it has rescued another of the girls in Borno. In all, 107 of the 219 held since 2014 have either escaped or been released.

Source: news24 usa


Victims speak out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abygvaX-hNo


The terror goes on. Victims and family speak out.

March 9th. 2018
"Nigeria’s “defeat” of Boko Haram is hollow rhetoric for the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls’ parents"

Around the time of evening prayers in a boarding school in Dapchi, a small town in northeast Nigeria, over 900 girls and faculty staff fled for safety after hearing militants fire bullets into the sky from the school compound.

According to accounts from those at the school who escaped, the suspected Boko Haram militants were dressed in military uniforms, arriving in a convoy of trucks and vehicles with machine-guns on the roofs.

One hundred and ten girls were abducted, driven away two days before the Yobe State would officially acknowledge that it had happened: a pivotal window when perhaps a meaningful rescue attempt could have taken place.

The abductions are chillingly reminiscent of the kidnappings of over 300 school girls in Chibok four years ago – where over 100 girls remain missing. The parallels are poignant both for the nature of the abductions and a litany of government and security failings that have left the community of grieving parents in Dapchi reeling and searching for answers.

Aisha Bukar, 14, was one of the girls kidnapped in Dapchi. Her father, Kuchalla Bukar, has barely eaten or slept since he first learned of the attacks on the school.

“Everytime I go to my house there is crying for Aisha. My wife wakes up and is calling for her and then crying because she is not here. We are trying but it is a struggle.”

According to Kachalla, many of Aisha’s fellow pupils who escaped from the militants have recounted how the abducted girls rushed into the trucks willingly, deceived by militants who pretended to be from the Nigerian military. “The girls were even struggling to get in to the trucks before they were taken away.”

In the two days after the abductions, the authorities’ confusedresponse only compounded the parents’ distress. The commissioner of police in Yobe State, Abdulmaliki Sumonu, claimed that no abductions had taken place, while a state government official then falsely claimed the girls had been rescued by the Nigerian military, in statements told to the local media.

“We were seeing these reports and were confused”, says Kachalla. “No one had told us anything or that they had been rescued. Why would they say that when they had not even began seriously searching for them?”

A further grievance from the parents has been the ease with which the militants abducted the girls, with several accounts suggesting the plan for the abduction was almost cavalier. The militants reportedly didn’t know where the school was.

Many of the residents in Dapchi have given accounts of how the militants asked for directions to the school, abducting and threatening locals along the way before releasing them when they knew where the school was.

According to Alhaji Shehu, a community worker in Dapchi, after a military checkpoint in Dapchi had closed in the month before the attacks, residents had begun to believe that the insecurity in the region was ending. “When the soldiers were moved people were even happy, but after this people are now asking why they were moved when the insurgents were able to access the school so easily.”

In Dapchi, the toll of the ordeal on the parents has, for some, been too much to bear. At least eight parents and close relatives were admitted into hospital in the week of the abductions, while two remain in care.

According to Kachalla, a mother whose daughter was among those kidnapped died last Thursday. “She was admitted into hospital, she already had high blood pressure that became worse after the abductions. I learned she then developed heart complications and died.”

Within a week of the abductions, the parents had formed into a Dapchi Parents Group, with an appointed chairperson and secretary. Their recognition of a need to mobilise in order to put pressure on the government fits into a stencil created by the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which caught the world’s attention.

Following the initial alarm and disbelief in Nigeria, the abductions have receded from a dominant story, becoming another among several flashpoints in an insurgency that is showing renewed life. President Buhari's government has spent the last two years claiming to have defeated Boko Haram.

The terrorist group is no longer the occupying force it was at its height in 2014, where sweeps of rural and urban towns in the northeast were under their control.

Less than a year to the election, the government is keen to list progress in defeating Boko Haram as an achievement, long before it is remotely the case. Significant gains against the group’s capability have been spun into a narrative wildly detached from reality.

Since 2016, attacks by Boko Haram have increased year on year. Over 100 people have died in attacks by the group this year. Many of the towns no longer occupied by the group are still vulnerable to them. The kidnappings offer Boko Haram an opportunity for ransom, to prolong and further fund its terror.

Nine years into the insurgency, there is a weariness in Nigeria around Boko Haram’s permanence as a national issue, ahead of an election where security challenges will again be a key focus.

In Dapchi, parents who a month ago felt closer than ever to life beyond insurgency, are now locked in the depths of it, praying for their daughters to come home.

Joy Bishara, kidnapped by Boko Haram from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria in 2014, tells her inspiring story of her abduction during the United Nations Security Council Arria Meeting on Attacks on Schools.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0qj-dps1e0

copyright NewStateman - Emmanuel Akiwoti is a journalist based between Lagos and London who writes about Afica, migration and specialises in Nigeria.


 

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