A second schoolgirl from the more than 200 seized in the Nigerian town of Chibok by the Boko Haram terror group, has been rescued, the Nigerian army says, reports Assist News Service.
Army spokesman Col Usman Sani Lukashenka said more details about the operation would be provided later.
“This comes two days after the rescue of the first girl, Amina Ali Nkeki, and her four-month-old baby,” said the BBC. “In all, 217 girls remain missing after their abduction by the Boko Haram Islamist group from a secondary school in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014.”
Earlier yesterday (May 19, 2016), Amina, 19, was flown to the capital Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari said he was delighted she was back and could resume her education.
Tinged with sadness
“But my feelings are tinged with deep sadness at the horrors the young girl has had to go through at such an early stage in her life,” he added.
The BBC went on to say that Amina and her baby were found by an army-backed vigilante group in the huge Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon.
She was with a suspected member of the Boko Haram Islamist group, who “claimed to be her husband.”
Aboku Gaji, who heads the vigilante group that found Amina, described to the BBC Hausa service the emotional reunion with her mother.
“When we arrived at the house, the door was closed, I asked the mother to come and identify someone, the moment she saw her, she shouted her name Amina, Amina!
“She gave her the biggest hug ever, as if they were going to roll on the ground, we had to stabilize them.
“The girl started comforting the mother, saying: ‘Please mum, take it easy, relax, I never thought I would ever see you again, wipe your tears. God has made it possible for us to see each other again.’
“That’s what this girl, Amina kept telling her mother.”
Amina reportedly revealed to her mother that a few of the kidnapped girls died in captivity, but most remain under heavy guard in the forest.
During the April 2014 attack, Boko Haram gunmen arrived in Chibok at night and raided the school dormitories, loading 276 girls onto trucks.
More than 50 managed to escape within hours, mostly by jumping off the trucks and running into roadside bushes.
A video broadcast by CNN in April this year appeared to show some of the kidnapped schoolgirls alive.
Fifteen girls in black robes were pictured. They said they were being treated well but wanted to be with their families. The video was allegedly shot on Christmas Day 2015 and some of the girls were identified by their parents.
The Chibok schoolgirls, many of whom are Christian, had previously not been seen since May 2014, when Boko Haram released a video of about 130 of them gathered together reciting the Koran.
The abduction led to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which was supported by US First Lady Michelle Obama and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, made an incredible recovery, and now lives in Birmingham, England.
Another campaign group working for the girls’ release, the Pathfinders Justice Initiative, said there was a “renewed sense of energy and hope and excitement” among families of the girls after Ms. Nkeki’s escape.
Executive director Evon Idahosa told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme that there was now “no excuse” for the Nigerian government not to step up efforts to free the remaining captives.
“They [the families] are excited but they have also been disappointed so much in the past, particularly during the Jonathan administration [from 2010-2015].”
Chibok parents were outraged that the military had “paraded” the young woman beside the Boko Haram commander who took her as his wife, Ezekwesili said according to a Fox News report.
Amina has told her mother that the man, Mohammed Hayatu, rescued her, deserting Boko Haram and leading her out of the forest because the camp had run out of food and they feared their baby would starve to death, according to Danladi. The military said Hayatu is detained for interrogation.
Buhari’s government also was lambasted by Washington-based Refugees International, which said Ali should be getting immediate care for rape and psychological counseling, instead of making public appearances.
“It is an outrage!” said Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, women and girls’ advocate at Refugees International, saying the escapee’s case should not be politicized.
Buhari’s statement said medical personnel and trauma experts had examined Amia on Wednesday for five hours. The president promised that she would get the best medical care and education available.
Whereabouts of classmates
Authorities will be asking her where her classmates are being held. If Boko Haram tries to move large groups of girls because of her escape, those movements can be captured by satellites and air reconnaissance.
Aid groups also alleged that thousands of other rescued or escaped Boko Haram hostages have been further abused by the military, which detains many.
Amnesty International this month called the military’s Giwa barracks in Maiduguri “a place of death” where babies and children are among scores of detainees dying from disease, hunger, dehydration and gunshot wounds.
Nigeria’s military denied the allegations and insisted that Amnesty officials have seen the facilities and “made recommendations that were implemented.”
Amnesty said the military’s statement was “completely false” and that the rights organisation has never been allowed into Giwa.
The fresh charges of military abuses come as the US considers a Nigerian request to buy 12 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to fight Boko Haram.
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed the proposal last week. Attempts by the Jonathan administration to buy American helicopter gunships were blocked, in part because of alleged Nigerian military abuses.