One year after the kidnaping of 232 Nigerian girls, Australian Stephen Davis still says his contacts indicate government complicity.
A year ago April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 275 girls from the government secondary school in the Christian-dominated town of Chibok, Borno State.
Students reported to the Chibok Government Secondary Boarding School on Sunday, April 13, to take an exam on Tuesday morning, April 15, despite the fact that the government had closed schools across the state because it could not offer protection. At about 11pm armed Boko Haram insurgents broke into the school. They burned the administration block and classrooms. Dressed in military uniforms, they told the girls that Chibok was under attack but that they were there to protect them. The girls believed them and obeyed their orders to mount the vehicles outside. Forty three girls escaped, some during the attack at the school; others during the journey to a camp in the Sambisa forest, where the captive girls were initially kept.
One year on, the 232 girls taken that night from Chibok remain in rebel custody. It is not clear where they are being held or what circumstances they had been facing this past year. The first of the babies born to the girls since their captivity arrived in mid-February this year. Four girls who managed to escape after their arrival at the Boko Haram camp reported that they were raped almost on a daily basis. They said those who did not cooperate with the rebels faced severe punishment. Some other girls who were captured before the Chibok girls, and who managed to escape after varying time in captivity, said some girls were killed because they would not renounce their Christian faith.