An official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Raad Zeid al Hussein, believes that the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram a year ago were slaughtered in Bama as the forces of Nigeria, Chad and Niger advanced on their positions.
|Screen capture from Video.|
By Morgan Winsor
Muhammadu Buhari swore to rescue 276 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped last year by Boko Haram if elected president of Nigeria. But Buhari, who last week emerged victorious in the presidential election by defeating President Goodluck Jonathan, may be too late to make good on that promise. The terror group possibly killed the girls prior to the election last month before fleeing areas in Borno state as the country's army and coalition forces moved in to recover the territories, according to Nigerian newspaper ThisDay.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said Monday the female students -- who were seized from a boarding school in the northeast town of Chibok in April 2014 -- may have been among the group of females slaughtered by Boko Haram in Borno state last month. “The recent recovery of territories in northeastern Nigeria has brought to light macabre scenes of mass graves and more obvious signs of killings by Boko Haram,” Hussein told ThisDay Monday, citing various reports that recently arrived at his office in Geneva. “These reports include the murder of the wives of combatants, women and girls actually held in slavery.” A request for comment to Hussein by International Business Times was not immediately returned Monday.
Dozens of Nigerian women and girls have been abducted and forcibly married to the Islamic militants since 2014. The fighters were told last week to kill female captives they had taken as “wives,” before Nigerian and coalition troops overtook Boko Haram headquarters in Gwoza, Agence France-Press reported.
Officials won’t know for sure whether the mass graves contain the bodies of the Chibok schoolgirls until forensic evidence has been collected and tested. J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, said there was very little probability the girls have been kept alive since their kidnapping. “We can’t be certain of who they are,” Pham said Monday. “In a way, it’s confirmation of what many of us had quietly feared for some time.”