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

Photo: Olamikan Gbemiga/ AP Photo.
Two years after their mass kidnapping by Boko Haram, the first of the missing Chibok schoolgirls has been rescued, according to the BBC.

Amina Ali Nkek was rescued by a vigilante group set up to fight Boko Haram on Tuesday, after a member of the group recognised her. She was found in the Sambisa Forest, near the border with Cameroon.

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

Nkek 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 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 Nkek 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.