100 Chibok Girls Unwilling To Leave Boko Haram’s Camp -Chibok Leader

By Ikenga Chronicles October 19, 2016

Following the release of 21 Chibok Girls, more than 100 others appear unwilling to leave their Boko Haram Islamic extremist captors, Chairman Pogu Bitrus of the Chibok Development Association revealed on Tuesday night.

The unwilling girls may have been radicalized by Boko Haram or are ashamed to return home because they were forced to marry extremists and have babies, the community leader told Associated Press.

Bitrus said the 21 Chibok girls freed last week in the first negotiated release between Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram should be educated abroad, because they will probably face stigma in Nigeria.

Recall that Buhari said Monday that his government is prepared to talk with Boko Haram as long as the extremists agree to involve organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, which was an intermediary in last week’s release.

Some 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in northeastern Chibok in April 2014. Dozens escaped early on and at least half a dozen have died in captivity, according to the newly freed girls, Bitrus said.

All those who escaped on their own have left Chibok because, even though they were held only a few hours, they were labelled “Boko Haram wives” and taunted, he said.

At least 20 of the girls are being educated in the United States.

“We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatization is going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” Bitrus said. “Even someone believed to have been abused by Boko Haram would be seen in a bad light.”

“All Nigerian institutions and the freed girls’ communities and families must ‘stand strong’ to ‘protect them from stigma, ostracization and rejection'” the U.N. special rapporteurs on the sale of children, on slavery and on the right to health said in a statement Tuesday.

Chibok Parents’ Association chairman Yakubu Nkeki said the freed women are being treated by doctors, psychologists and trauma counsellors at a hospital in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, run by the Department of State Service, Nigeria’s secret service.

Human rights advocates and the Bring Back Our Girls Movement have been asking if the first girl who was released earlier is a detainee of the government and have been demanding she be allowed to return home, as she has requested.Nkeki explained that she has been re-united with the other girls who were recently freed.

The freed girls have told their parents they were separated into two groups earlier on in their captivity, when Boko Haram commanders gave them the choice of joining the extremists and embracing Islam, or becoming their slaves, Bitrus said.

The girls freed and those whose release is being negotiated, numbering 104, are believed to be in the group that rejected Islam and Boko Haram, he explained. The freed girls said they never saw the other girls again.

Bitrus said the freed girls were used as domestic workers and porters but were not sexually abused. He said that was why only one girl in the freed group is carrying a baby, and her parents have confirmed that she was pregnant when she was kidnapped.

Previous negotiators in talks that failed also had corroborated that more than 100 of the girls did not want to return to their parents, Bitrus said.

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