63 Girls Escape Boko Haram Captivity

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rexusa_2086354hPhoto: Alex MacNaughton/REX USA.
More than 60 Nigerian girls escaped from captivity by the Boko Haram on Friday, according to officials. The young women were part of a mass abduction from three villages in Borno, Nigeria, on June 22 — an incident Nigerian officials initially denied.

Chibok local government chairman Pogu Bitrus said he confirmed the escape on Thursday and Friday, when he sent a representative to meet with the escapees and their families at a hospital in Lassa. The girls reportedly escaped while Boko Haram fighters were attacking a military and police barrack in nearby Damboa.

Though the return of 63 victims is a glimmer of good news, an estimated 219 girls are still reported missing following the April 15 kidnapping at a school in Chibok. The Boko Haram is demanding the release of detained fighters in exchange for the girls, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has apparently refused a swap. As a result, communities are reaching out to the United Nation for assistance.

"The inability or unwillingness of the federal government to provide adequate security to Chibok (Kibaku) nation following the abduction of the girls leaves us with no option than to call on the United Nations to use its apparatus to come to our aid and protect us from the imminent annihilation as a people," reads a statement from the Kibaku Area Development Association, an organization led by Bitrus.

While the families of those missing still wait for major action against the extremist group, many have taken to social media, using #BringBackOurGirls to draw attention to the issue. In a world where news becomes stale in a matter of hours, this is one problem we cannot let ourselves forget about. (Mashable)