Two Years After Kidnapping, Second Chibok Schoolgirl Rescued From Boko Haram

Photo: Olamikan Gbemiga/ AP Photo.
A woman attends a 2014 demonstration in Abuja, Nigeria, calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped girls of the government secondary school in Chibok.
Update: A second girl captured in the 2014 mass kidnapping by Boko Haram has been rescued, the Nigerian military says. The girl was freed along with nearly 100 other women and children, The Guardian reports. The girl, who is receiving medical treatment, is believed to be the daughter of a local pastor and former student at the Chibok school that was targeted by Boko Haram.

This story was originally published on May 18, 2016.

Two years after their mass kidnapping by Boko Haram, the first of the missing Chibok schoolgirls has been rescued, according to the BBC.

The young woman was rescued by a vigilante group set up to fight Boko Haram on Tuesday, after a member of the group recognized her. She was found with a baby in the Sambisa Forest, near the border with Cameroon.

Her uncle told The Associated Press that the now-19-year-old is traumatized from her ordeal. She was reunited with her mother in Chibok on Tuesday night.

The young woman is one of 276 teenage girls who were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria in April of 2014. The girls, who were preparing to take science exams, were abducted in a late-night raid on dormitories by gunmen associated with Boko Haram. While a few dozen managed to escape by jumping out of trucks and hiding in bushes, 219 remained missing for more than two years.

The abduction received international attention, and there was criticism over what was seen as a weak commitment to rescuing the girls. Over the next two years, protesters and activists continued to keep the girls’ plight in the news, and called on the government to take action to rescue them. The ousting of Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, in May 2015 was attributable in part to the government’s failure to rescue the girls, according to The Guardian.

While the young woman found on Tuesday is the first girl confirmed to have been rescued, Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus told the AP that other girls may also have been rescued by soldiers hunting Boko Haram in the region. He told the news agency that he is working with officials to establish their identities.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to redact the young woman's name, as she is a possible victim of sexual abuse.

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