First Missing Chibok Girl Found, Reunited With Her Family, Activist Says
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 5/18/2016, 10:25 a.m.
By Stephanie Busari
(CNN) -- One of the more than 200 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 has been found -- the first to be recovered since the time of the abduction, according to an activist with the Bring Back Our Girls movement in Nigeria.
The girl was found on the edge of Sambisa Forest, in the northeast of the country, where the girls have long been suspected to have been held since they were kidnapped from their school dormitory.
She was identified by a local resident and taken to her mother, who confirmed her identity, the activist says.
More than 200 of the girls abducted from the town of Chibok remain missing.
Boko Haram militants kidnapped 276 teenage girls from their boarding school in Chibok in Borno, northeast Nigeria, on April 14, 2014. At least 57 girls were able to escape soon after their abduction.
Their kidnapping sparked global outrage, with Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai and a slew of other high-profile figures lending their weight to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
But Nigeria's government has proven powerless to recover the girls, most of whom were Christian, and are believed to have been forced to convert to Islam by their captors.
Last month, CNN obtained a video of some of the missing Chibok girls sent to negotiators by their captors as a "proof of life," and showed it to some of the girls' mothers, who had not been shown the footage by officials.
Boko Haram, based mainly in Nigeria's northern states but responsible for attacks in neighboring countries, is seeking to implement sharia law. According to a report released in November, the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram was the world's deadliest terror group in 2014, responsible for 6,644 deaths, an increase of 317% from the previous year.
Two years ago, when CNN first visited Chibok after the mass abduction, parents described how they followed their daughters' trail to the edge of the Sambisa Forest, which had been overrun by the Islamist insurgents several years earlier.
But with danger lurking amid the dense vegetation, an ideal hiding place for the militants and their IEDS, they were unable to go any further.
Since then, Nigerian soldiers have infiltrated the forest and driven back the militants from some of their territory.
But the group still holds territory right in the heart of the forest.
CNN's Tim Hume contributed to this report.