21 Girls Return with 34 Children: Report Marks 10-Year Anniversary of Chibok Abduction

On the solemn occasion of the 10th anniversary of the abduction of 276 girls from Chibok Girls Secondary School in Borno State, a damning report released over the weekend by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) unveils disturbing truths.

The report reveals that among the released girls, 21 returned with 34 children, highlighting the brutality of their captivity, which included sexual violence and coerced marriages. Additionally, 91 schoolgirls remain missing, while 48 parents of the abducted On victims have tragically passed away, leaving behind a legacy of widespread psychological trauma for survivors and their families.

During a virtual presentation of the report, Dr. Aisha Muhammad-Oyebode, CEO of the MMF, outlined 10 key recommendations urging collaboration between the Nigerian government and the international community. These recommendations include enhanced security measures, community empowerment programs, psychological support services, education initiatives, legal reforms, transparent communication, humanitarian aid, women’s empowerment programs, and early warning systems for security threats.

Dr. Muhammad-Oyebode emphasized the urgent need for action, stating, “In the 10 years since the Chibok kidnapping caused global outrage, very little has changed on the ground in Nigeria, where kidnapping is still as prevalent, if not worse than a decade ago.

“As Nigeria’s kidnapping epidemic shows no signs of slowing, we urge the Nigerian authorities and the international community to take concrete steps to address the underlying drivers of conflict, extremism, and violence against women and girls, which include widespread poverty, instability, and a lack of economic opportunities.

“The report found that 91 out of the 276 schoolgirls remain unaccounted for. The report also revealed that 21 of the Chibok girls, who were released returned with 34 children, serving as a confirmation of the sexual violence and coerced marriages they endured while in captivity.

“Other key findings included: In 2014, 57 schoolgirls escaped by jumping off the Boko Haram trucks. Between 2016 and 2023, 128 girls have since been rescued, exchanged in deals with Boko Haram or found in countries, including neighbouring Cameroon, after escaping. One of the girls to be released opted out of the negotiations at the last minute, choosing to remain with her captors.

“Forty-eight parents of the abducted victims have died since the girls were kidnapped, with widespread psychological trauma for survivors and their families, leading to health issues and barriers to work and education. Three of those parents were killed by Boko Haram in subsequent attacks in 2014, 2016, and 2017, respectively.

“In February 2018, Boko Haram abducted over 100 schoolgirls in a town called Dapchi in a shocking attack that was worryingly similar to the Chibok kidnapping. Several cases of kidnapping and instability persist, with girls among those most at risk. The MMF’s report shares recommendations in efforts to address the root causes of the kidnapping and urges for international cooperation to urgently act to deliver solutions that put an end to the crisis.”

The CEO further called for a zero-tolerance policy, advocating for justice to be served regardless of the perpetrators’ power or connections.

Source : https://sunnewsonline.com/21-released-chibok-girls-came-with-34-children-report-2/?amp

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