Sad News: Some of The Remaining Chibok Girls Unwilling To Leave Their Captors According To This Report

More than a third of almost 300 female students abducted by Islamic militants from a school in Nigeria two-and-a-half years ago appear unwilling to leave their captors, a community leader has said.

Nigeria’s government is negotiating the release of 83 of about 190 girls from the the remote town of Chibok who are still held by Boko Haram in remote camps in the north-east of Africa’s most populous country. Twenty-one were freed last week as a “goodwill gesture” by the group.

The mass abduction in April 2014 prompted a global outcry, and an international campaign to #BringBackOurGirls, backed by celebrities including Michelle Obama.

The girls unwilling to return may have been radicalised by Boko Haram or could feel ashamed to return home because they were forced to marry extremists and have children, Pogu Bitrus, the chairman of the Chibok Development Association, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Mausi Segun, a researcher in Nigeria for Human Rights Watch, the international campaign organisation, said the negative reaction of conservative communities would mean it was unlikely the released women would be able to return to Chibok.

“Any sign that there has been sexual contact with any man, and these men are Boko Haram, will cause a backlash. The likelihood they will return home is slim,” Segun said.

There have been frequent reports of stigma and discrimination directed at women who are released by, or escape from, Boko Haram. Campaigners have repeatedly raised concerns that the reaction of communities and relatives to released women might complicate negotiations, and exacerbate victims’ trauma.

Bitrus said the students freed last week in the first negotiated release between Nigeria’s government and Boko Haram should be educated abroad. The girls and their parents were reunited amid joyous scenes on Sunday.

“We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatisation 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.”

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