What happened to the 276 kidnapped girls?

Michelle Obama’s involvement in #BringBackOurGirls

In April 2014 Islamist militants kidnapped 276 girls from their school in Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria.

It was 14 April 2014 when the militants, Boko Haram, struck. They were sleeping in their dormitory at Chibok Girls’ Secondary School, with many having come from distant villages to take exams. Altogether 276 girls were kidnapped.

What happened to the 276 kidnapped girls?

  • 276 taken on 14 April 2014
  • 57 escaped in the following days
  • One escaped and was found 18 May 2016
  • 21 were released 13 October 2016
  • One escaped and was found in a military raid 17 Nov 2016
  • 1 escaped and was found 5 Jan 2017
  • 82 released 6 May 2017
  • 113 still missing
Image EPA The Chibok girls who have been released will have to take part in a government rehabilitation programme

But as 82 more girls have been released, we have to ask ourselves about whether they might be exchanging one form of imprisonment for another.

Boko Haram: Who are they and what they want

Boko Haram, referred to by themselves as al-Wilāyat al-Islāmiyya Gharb Afrīqiyyah (Arabic: الولاية الإسلامية غرب أفريقيا‎‎, (Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP), and Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد‎‎, “Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad”),[16] is an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.

The group was led by Abubakar Shekau until August 2016, when he was succeeded by Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

The group had alleged links to al-Qaeda, but in March 2015, it announced its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Since the current insurgency started in 2009, it has killed 20,000 and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world’s deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.


Boko Haram seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria. It opposes the Westernization of Nigerian society and the concentration of the wealth of the country among members of a small political elite, mainly in the Christian south of the country.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, but 60% of its population of 173 million (2013) live on less than $1 a day.

Mohammed Yusuf (29 January 1970 – 30 July 2009), also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was a Nigerian Muslim sect leader and founder of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2002. He was its spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Boko Haram uprising. The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”.

In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf, described by analysts as being well-educated, reaffirmed his opposition to Western education.

He rejected the theory of evolution, said that rain is not “an evaporation caused by the sun”, and that the Earth is not a sphere. source: Wikipedia

The Chibok girls have names and faces, and we use them as symbols – as a reference point for every one taken before and after them.”

Aisha Yesufu, campaigner