Two years have passed since terror group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in Chibok, in northern Nigeria. Snatched from their tight-knit communities, families and friends, more than 219 still remain captives of the militant Islamist group and some have been married off as wives of members.
To mark the second anniversary since they were taken, Malala Yousafzai has written an open letter to the parents of those girls who were abducted. The Nobel Peace laureate urged the president of Nigeria not to give up on the Chibok girls, just as he wouldn’t give up the fight for his own daughter.
The 18-year-old activist also said she hoped one day the children would arrive safely home, complete their education and ultimately be free.
Since the girls were snatched from their beds in a school dormitory, the relatives have been offered glimpses into their lives via unconfirmed photos and videos released by the militant group. Just hours ago, CNN obtained a video sent to negotiators by the captors as “proof of life”.
The clip is the first piece of footage which has been seen since May 2014. It shows 15 of the girls lined up against a well dressed in dark robes. Some of those filmed have been identified by their parents.
Here is a copy of Yousafzai’s letter:
Dear mothers and fathers,
I write this letter with a heavy heart, knowing you have endured another year separated from your daughters. I think of you every day since we first met two years ago—and join millions of people around the world in praying for the safety and swift return of your girls.
As I did last year, I call on President Buhari of Nigeria—and everyone who can help rescue the Chibok girls—to act now. Would a president give up the fight for his own daughter? These girls are just as precious to their families.
Parents, thank you for having the courage to send your daughters to school. My dream is that one day they will come home, finish their education and choose their futures for themselves.
I pray for the day when you can embrace your girls again.
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