The two young women were among 276 schoolgirls aged between 12 and 17 abducted from their boarding school in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria. Their babies in their arms, they were presented to the press by the army.
General Christopher Musa, military commander of troops in the area, told reporters that the young women were found on June 12 and 14 at two different locations by soldiers.
“We are very lucky to have been able to recover two of Chibok’s daughters,” said General Musa.
The first, Hauwa Joseph, was found with other civilians on June 12 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 June 15, the army said on Twitter that they found one of Chibok’s daughters named Mary Ngoshe. It’s actually Mary Dauda.
– More than a hundred 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 military headquarters. Her husband was killed in the army raid.
“We were abandoned, no one took care of us. We weren’t fed,” she said.
Mary Dauda, who was 18 when she was kidnapped, says she was married to several Boko Haram fighters before fleeing. “They would starve you and beat you if you refused to pray,” she said.
“All the remaining Chibok girls 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 80 others were exchanged for Boko Haram commanders in negotiations with the authorities.
Subsequently, other girls were found but more than a hundred remain missing. According to propaganda videos, many were forcibly married off to jihadist fighters.
Since the kidnapping 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 practice mass kidnapping for ransom.