Islamist militants Boko Haram have released a new video of kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls claiming they do not want to return to their parents.
At least 14 of the abducted girls – three carrying babies – can be seen in the clip, nearly four years after they were seized from the northeast Nigerian town.
But despite a concerted global campaign for their release, and talks between the government and the militants, the girls shown in the recording vowed not to return home.
One of the students says: ‘We are the Chibok girls… By the grace of Allah, we will not return to you.’
The 20-minute-long video is the first since May last year when a woman claiming to be one of the 219 schoolgirls was seen holding a gun and also refusing to return to her parents.
It was not clear when or where the latest message was recorded or whether those who appeared on camera were under duress.
But the woman speaking, her face covered by a veil, said they had all been married by Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau.
‘We live in comfort. He provides us with everything. We lack nothing,’ she added.
‘Poor souls, we pity our other Chibok girls who chose to return to Nigeria. Allah blessed you and brought you to the caliphate for you to worship your creator.
‘But instead you chose to return to unbelief.’
Shekau is also seen in the video, firing a heavy machine gun and making a 13-minute-long sermon.
The jihadists seized 276 students from the Government Girls Secondary School in the mostly Christian town in Borno state on April 14, 2014, triggering global condemnation.
Fifty-nine of them managed to escape in the hours that followed.
A total of 107 girls have now been either found, rescued or released as part of government negotiations with the Islamic State group affiliate.
On January 4, the Nigerian army said it had rescued one of the girls’ classmates in the remote Pulka region of Borno, near the border with Cameroon.
The Chibok abductees are among thousands of women, girls and boys kidnapped during the conflict, which began in 2009 and has killed at least 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Julian Robinson; AFP