Date: May 22, 2016
By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- Nigeria's army says it has rescued two of hundreds of Christian school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants, though parents have expressed doubts about the identity of one of the girls.
The military said it found Serah Luka, two days after rescuing Amina Ali Nkeki, 19, the first of the kidnapped girls to be found alive.
Luka was apparently the daughter of a pastor and is currently receiving medical attention at the medical facility of Abogo Largema Cantonment in Biu, Borno state, the army said.
Islamic militants abducted 276 girls from their secondary school in north-east Nigeria in April 2014, with 57 later escaping. The 219 other girls remained missing though video footage has emerged showing about 130 of them reciting from the Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims.
Though the army says it is convinced the two girls rescued in recent days were part of that group, parents of the kidnapped Chibok girls and the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group have expressed doubts about the second girl.
Yakubu Nkeki, the head of BBOG said the military contacted him before an announcement was made last week about the discovery of the first girl, Amina Ali, and that they had been able "to identify her and then establish her parents."
However Nkeki told media that his records showed only two girls kidnapped in Chibok with the surname Luka. "These are Kauna Luka Yana and Naomi Luka Dzakwa. Among the list of parents we have only four priests and none of them is Luka," he said adding that "this girl is not among the abducted Chibok girls."
Serah Luka was among 97 women and children rescued earlier last week in the Damboa area of the northeastern state of Borno, the military said.
Yet doubts remain about their future. Aid workers say say that for hundreds of women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants their ordeal did not end when they escaped, nor when Nigerian soldiers rescued them and reunited them with their families.
Instead of being admired for their bravery, many have become outcasts in their communities, stigmatized due to their perceived association with Boko Haram, reports humanitarian news agency IRIN. Others – pregnant after rape by their captors – have been “shamed and are now accused of spawning or seeking to spawn future Boko Haram fighters.”
This is bad news for the Chibok girls, according to Christian rights activists. One recent Christian returnee, Tabitha, told media she had met some of them in her camp and that many have become Boko Haram fighters.
Angelina Jolie, the United Nations special envoy, also confirmed that rape has become a ‘policy’ aimed at terrorizing and destroying communities. “[Islamist groups such as] Islamic State are dictating [it] as policy ... beyond what we have seen before,” she told British Parliament earlier this month.
The American actress said the groups know “it is a very effective weapon and they are using it as a centre point of their terror and their way of destroying communities
and families, and attacking and dehumanizing.”
Jolie reportedly said she had met girls in war zones who had been repeatedly raped and sold for as little as $40. Last year she co-hosted a global summit in London, attended by representatives from more than 100 countries, aimed at raising awareness and tackling the issue of sexual violence in conflict, especially rape as a weapon of war.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of civilians in north-east Nigeria during its campaign to establish an Islamic state in the region where it ordered Christians to leave or submit themselves to its strict interpretation of Islam.