Boko Haram Video Is Said To Show Some Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls

Aug 15, 2016
Originally published on August 15, 2016 10:32 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's go to Nigeria where, yesterday, a surprising video emerged. Some of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped two years ago by an Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, made an appearance in that video released by their captors. The video also made the chilling claim that a number of the girls have been killed in Nigerian airstrikes and that 40 others have been forcibly married off. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has more from Lagos.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: In Boko Haram's purported new 12-minute video, the camera pans across 50 veiled girls and young women. They appear to be some of the missing Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped en masse by the extremist group two years ago. At least one is carrying a baby. They're lined up behind a masked man in military fatigues with a rifle slung over his shoulder. He speaks at length in Hausa, the lingua franca of northern Nigeria.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking Hausa).

QUIST-ARCTON: If our members are not freed from detention, he warns, let the Nigerian government and parents of the Chibok girls know that they will never find these girls again.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: (Foreign language spoken).

QUIST-ARCTON: One of the girls says she's one of the 276 Chibok students plucked from their school in the dead of night. Her mother has confirmed her identity. In what appears to be a staged interview conducted by the Boko Haram fighter, apparently under duress, the girl begs the government to rescue them.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: (Foreign language spoken).

QUIST-ARCTON: The video was first sent to Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist in Dubai known to have close contacts with Boko Haram. The Nigerian Army says he's a wanted man. The authorities responded to the purported Boko Haram video with an offer of negotiations, but with whom?

The group, which pledged allegiance to ISIS last year, is divided. There's a Boko Haram leadership battle between the ousted head and a new one appointed by Islamic State earlier this month. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR News, Lagos. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.