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Nigerian Doctor describes Moment when he saw Cousins Kidnapped by Boko Haram Terrorist Group

Doctor Allen Manasseh says he was overwhelmed when he first saw them because they looked like they had suffered

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Some of the 21 Chibok school girls released are seen during a meeting with Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 13, 2016.VOA
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Abuja, October 19, 2016: Dr. Allen Manasseh describes the moment when one of his cousins first saw him on Sunday at the official reunion ceremony for Chibok families in Abuja.

“When she saw me, she could not say anything. She was just crying,” he recalls. “And she was saying it was just like a dream, as if it was something they had given up on [returning home safely to their loved ones].”

The doctor reunited Sunday with two of his cousins – Gloria Dame and Maryamu Lawan – who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014 from their secondary school in Chibok.

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“They never thought they would make it through,” he says, “but lo and behold they are out and that smell of freedom was something else.”

Some of the 21 Chibok school girls released are seen during a meeting with Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 13, 2016.VOA
Some of the 21 Chibok school girls released are seen during a meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 13, 2016.VOA

Suffering, food deprivation

Manasseh’s says he was overwhelmed when he first saw them because they looked like they had suffered.

“It is difficult to describe the feeling,” he says, searching for the words to convey his emotions, adding “they look leaner than [before] they were abducted.”

Manasseh is grateful that none of his cousins came back with any children, and says they told him they were not forced to marry any Boko Haram members.

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But their lean bodies are a testament to the food deprivation they suffered while in captivity – Manasseh’s cousin Gloria said some of the girls had no food to eat for 40 days.

Some of the 21 Chibok school girls released are seen during a meeting with Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 13, 2016.VOA
Some of the 21 Chibok school girls released are seen during a meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 13, 2016.VOA

Doubt surrounds effort to find other captives

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government says talks are continuing to bring back another 83 of the nearly 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Whether or not a ransom was paid for the 21 released last week remains unclear. The Nigerian government denied a report from the Associated Press that millions of dollars were paid by the Swiss government on behalf of Nigeria. The Nigerian government also says no imprisoned Boko Haram members were exchanged for the girls.

But Emman Shehu, one of the leaders of the Bring Back Our Girls movement that has advocated for the kidnapped girls’ release, doubts the government’s story.

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“We think that something happened. Even when the government said officially nothing happened, it turns out that something did happen,” Shehu says.”That has always been the history of negotiating for hostages in the hands of terrorists.”

Won’t give up

Shehu says the group will watch for the rest of the month to see if other girls are rescued. If not, Bring Back Our Girls will continue to pressure the government.

For now, Chibok families are relishing the memory of what it felt like to hold their daughters for the first time in two years. (VOA)

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  • Diksha Arya

    Just hope that the remaining girls would be rescued soon..

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Meeting own family members after such a long suffering is just a priceless feeling.

Next Story

US Shares List of 20 Terrorist Groups Operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan with Pakistani Authorities

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

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According to media reports, US has shared list of terror groups operating in Pakistan with authorities in Islamabad. Wikimedia

Washington, November 2, 2017 : The White House retains a list of 20 terrorist groups that it claims are operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is believed to have shared this list with Islamabad, the media reported on Thursday.

However, the list was not given to Pakistani authorities by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visited Islamabad last week, diplomatic sources told Dawn news.

The White House list includes three types of militant groups: those who launch attacks into Afghanistan, those who attack targets inside Pakistan and those who are focused on Kashmir.

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

Pakistan strongly rejects the charge, saying that there were no such safe havens inside the country.

The US also identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the largest and most active terrorist organisations in South Asia.

The other militant groups in the list include Harakatul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jundullah, Lashkar-i-Jhanghvi and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. (IANS)