Amina Ali Nkeki was 17 years old when she was abducted from her school in Borno, northeastern Nigeria, by Boko Haram militants more than two years ago. She’s 19 now, and as of Wednesday, she’s a free young woman — the first of the school girls kidnapped and held by the terror group to escape. Nigerian soldiers reportedly discovered Nkeki wandering alone around the outskirts of the Sambisa Forest, her uncle, Yakubu Nkeki, told The Associated Press. She was then reunited with her mother, who confirmed Nkeki’s identiy. Her father died at some point while she was in captivity. Her uncle said Nkeki was traumatized and pregnant, but otherwise in good health. An activist for the movement also confirmed the rescue to CNN.
Nkeki’s rescue marks a possible turning point in a long and excruciating saga. In April 2014, Boko Haram militants stormed the Government Girls Secondary School at Chibok and kidnapped 276 girls. During the initial rescue attempt, dozens of girls managed to escape. But 219 have remained missing and Nigeria’s government has been widely criticized both inside the country and by nations attempting to coordinate with Nigeria on rescuing the girls. On the two-year anniversary of their kidnapping, Obiageli Ezekwesili beseeched the world to not forget about the girls and castigated the Nigerian government’ ineptitude at saving them. Simultaneously, CNN released a “proof-of-life” video it had obtained that showed several of the girls in captivity, but alive and well. According to reports, Nigerian soldiers may have rescued more girls in Sambisa Forest.