More than two years after the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by militant sect Boko Haram in Chibok, a town in Nigeria’s north east, the Nigerian army says one of the girls has been rescued.
The girl, Amina Ali, was found by a local vigilante group in Sambisa Forest in the northeastern state of Borno—a known base for Boko Haram operations. Her parents later confirmed her identity as one of the kidnapped girls. Amina reportedly confirmed that other girls were still in the custody of Boko Haram but that as many as six have died in captivity.
The kidnap of the girls gained global attention in April 2014 with the high profile Bring Back Our Girls campaign, as the Nigerian government came under intense criticism for its initial lax response to the abduction. Since then, there has been speculation about the whereabouts of the girls with various reports suggesting they had been married off to Boko Haram fighters or sold to other militia groups in neighboring countries.
The Nigerian government has previously indicated an interest in negotiating with the sect to secure the release of the girls. The group reportedly demanded a $50 million ransom for the release of the girls and released a “proof of life” video showing some of the abducted girls to seemingly facilitate a negotiation.
In the last year, under Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian army has recorded strong gains against Boko Haram, retaking territory and rescuing abducted women and girls.