Nigeria: Army finds two 'Chibok girls' eight years later

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The Nigerian army announced Tuesday that it had found two former students of the "Chibok girls" group, abducted by the Boko Haram jihadist group eight years ago, a case that sparked a global campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.

The two young women were among 276 pupils aged 12 to 17 abducted from their boarding school in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria. With their babies in their arms, they were presented to the press by the army.

General Christopher Musa, the military commander of troops in the area, told reporters that the young women were found on 12 and 14 June at two different locations by soldiers.

"We are very lucky to have recovered two of the Chibok girls," Musa said.

The first, Hauwa Joseph, was found with other civilians on 12 June near Bama after troops attacked a Boko Haram camp.

The other, Mary Dauda, was found near the village of Ngoshe in Gwoza district, on the border with Cameroon. On 15 June, the army said on Twitter that it had found one of the Chibok girls named Mary Ngoshe. The army now says the name is Mary Dauda.

- Over 100 still missing -

"I was nine years old when we were abducted from our school in Chibok. I got married recently and had this child," Hauwa Joseph told reporters at the military headquarters. Her husband was killed in the army raid.

"We were abandoned, no one cared for us. We were not fed," she said.

Mary Dauda, who was 18 when she was kidnapped, says she was married to several Boko Haram fighters before she ran away. "They would starve you and beat you if you refused to pray," she said.

"All the girls from Chibok who remain are married and have children. I left more than 20" in the village where I lived, she counted.

Of the 276 schoolgirls abducted in 2014, 57 managed to escape and another 80 were exchanged for Boko Haram commanders in negotiations with the authorities.

More girls have subsequently been found, but more than 100 remain missing. According to propaganda videos, many of the girls were forcibly married to jihadist fighters.

Since the abduction of the "Chibok girls", many other schools or universities have been attacked in northern Nigeria in recent years, some by jihadists, but mostly by criminal groups who carry out mass kidnappings for ransom.

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