IN NORTHEASTERN NIGERIA, April 14, 2014, hundreds of school girls at Chibok boarding school aroused to the sound of gunfire and found themselves in the control of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Their capture triggered a global campaign calling for their rescue, mostly by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls
September 14, Sunday, marks five months since the girls were kidnapped. Here’s what has happened since.
They were reportedly located months ago
In May, month after the abduction of the girls, A Nigerian Military official claimed that he knew where the girls were being held.
In June, A group which is believed to be the girls by the U.S. surveillance planes U.S. is also spotted.
In same month of June, Stephen Davis, an Australian cleric and mediator, said that powerful people with “vested interests” are working to sabotage the deal to free the girls. Also, he accused Nigerian politicians of funding Boko Haram. Nigerian Government reasons out that their approach might risk the lives of the girls.
Although, not one student has been rescued
57 of the girls have managed to escape from the Islamist militants in the first days after their abduction. But not one has escaped or been rescued since then.
Little progress were made by other countries
It took more than two weeks for Nigeria to accept the offers of international assistance to find the school girls according to the Associated Press.
After accepting international assistance, 80 troops were sent by The U.S. to perform an aerial search from neighboring Chad. Special Forces from the Canada, France, Israel and the U.K. are also sent to Nigeria. Six weeks later, it was announced that the U.S. mission would be scaled back. Pentagon said, “We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.”
Until today, U.S. troops are still in Chad coordinating surveillance and reconnaissance flights each week in search of the girls. U.S. officials have expressed concern about sharing intelligence on Boko Haram given the Nigerian military’s poor human rights record.
Meanwhile, the girls’ hometown is still in danger
Residents in Chibok face the unrelenting threat of an attack by militants.
In June, a Boko Haram offensive on nearby villages crept within three miles of the town where the girls were kidnapped. At least 11 parents of the kidnapped girls have been killed by militants or died of illness.
Boko Haram violence rages on
Boko Haram claims that they have taken over at least five towns in northeastern Nigeria since April. While Military says it has won some of these towns back.
The militant group has captured small group of girls and dozens of boys although, all was claimed back.
More than 2,100 people are reported to have been killed by Boko Haram since April 14, according to data from the Council on Foreign Relations.
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