One Year Ago, Boko Haram Took the Chibok Girls

Amnesty hopes Nigeria's new government can still find missing girls
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2015 6:03 AM CDT
One Year Ago, Boko Haram Took the Chibok Girls
This Monday May 12, 2014 file image taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.   (AP Photo/File)

A year after more than 200 girls were taken from their homes in Chibok by Boko Haram militants, 219 will lead a procession through Nigeria's capital of Abuja today in honor of those who have not yet been found. A witness tells the BBC she saw more than 50 Chibok girls just three weeks ago in northeastern Nigeria, but little else is known of the girls' whereabouts. An Amnesty International report finds Boko Haram has abducted 2,000 girls since January 2014 to serve as sex slaves, cooks, and fighters, some of whom were later killed, a witness says. But the group says the Chibok girls have been married off. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's incoming president, vows his government will "do everything in its power to bring them home" but "I cannot promise that we can find them."

A director for Unicef says the kidnapping of the Chibok girls is only one of many "endless tragedies being replicated on an epic scale" in the area. Under Boko Haram's violent run, some 7,300 were killed in 2014 and more than 1,000 have died so far this year, the Guardian reports. A Unicef report released yesterday finds some 800,000 children have been displaced by fighting—twice as many as a year ago. Meanwhile, "scores of girls and boys have gone missing in Nigeria—abducted, recruited by armed groups, attacked, used as weapons, or forced to flee violence," the director says. Buhari's government along with "recent military successes might spell the beginning of the end for Boko Haram, but there is a huge amount to be done," Amnesty International's secretary general adds. (More Boko Haram stories.)

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