Seven years after Boko Haram extremists kidnapped her and more than 200 of her classmates in the Nigerian town of Chibok, one abducted girl has been rescued and reunited with her parents, Borno state’s governor said on Saturday.
The April 2014 raid on the school in the northeastern town triggered an international outrage and a widespread social media movement with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls.
Governor Babagana Zulum said the girl and someone she said she married during her captivity surrendered themselves to the military 10 days ago. Zulum said government officials had used the time since to identify her and contact her parents.
Some 270 girls were originally abducted by the Islamist group but 82 were freed in 2017 after mediation, adding to 24 who were released or found. A few others have escaped or been rescued, but about 113 of the girls are believed to be held still by the militant group.
According to Zulum, reconciling the child with her relatives raises hopes that other captives will be found. According to him, the girl will receive psychiatric and medical treatment as part of a government rehabilitation programme.
Boko Haram, as well as its later spinoff Islamic State West Africa Province, first carried out large school kidnappings in Nigeria, but the approach has since been taken by criminal gangs grabbing youngsters for ransom.
Last month, bandits kidnapped schoolchildren from a boarding school in Kaduna state, the 10th mass school kidnapping in northern Nigeria since December, with over 1,000 students abducted.