Suspect in kidnapped schoolgirl claim

-In this file photo taken from video released by Nigerias Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014, shows missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok.Image copyright

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Boko Haram released an image in 2014 of some of the 270 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in Nigeria

Authorities in Cameroon and Nigeria are investigating a claim from a would-be suicide bomber that she was one of a group of schoolgirls abducted in 2014.

The Nigerian government is sending parents to Cameroon to attempt to identify the girl.

She told investigators in Cameroon she was one of 270 kidnapped in Chibok by jihadist group Boko Haram.

The abductions sparked international outrage and the #bringbackourgirls social media campaign.

While about 50 of the girls managed to escape, 219 of these girls remain missing. They were taken by the militants from the Chibok community in northeastern Nigeria.

Reuters news agency reported that one of two girls arrested in northern Cameroon on Friday carrying explosives claimed to be one of the missing Chibok girls.

The girls were arrested after being stopped by local self-defence forces in Limani near the border with Nigeria, the target of frequent suicide bombings in recent months.

“We hope that the Chibok parents will be able to identify the girl and determine whether she is indeed one of their missing students,” Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Mr Shehu said the government was keen to ascertain the girl’s identity so she could be brought back to Nigeria and possibly assist the government in investigating the abductions.

He said the two parents from Chibok selected to embark on the trip to Cameroon are Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of the Chibok Abducted Girls Movement, and Yana Galang, the women’s leader in the group, whose 16-year-old daughter Rifkatu is among the missing.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was criticised for his slow reaction to the Chibok abductions. Mr Buhari, his successor, ordered a new investigation into the kidnappings in January.

Although Boko Haram has been driven out from most of the areas it controlled in north-eastern Nigeria, it has continued to carry out suicide bombings and raids into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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Boko Haram video

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Boko Haram has sworn allegiance to Islamic State and often displays its trademark black flag

Boko Haram at a glance:

  • Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, hundreds abducted, including at least 200 schoolgirls
  • Joined so-called Islamic State, now calls itself IS’s “West African province”
  • Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
  • Regional force has retaken most territory this year

Using football to tackle Boko Haram

Why Boko Haram remains a threat

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