The 21 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram last week have begun to share details of the treatment they endured since they and more than 200 others were kidnapped from their boarding school in Nigeria more than two years ago.
According to information shared by the girls’ parents, the girls said they were offered a choice between serving as slaves or joining Boko Haram and marrying fighters. The half that chose to join, they never saw again. The remaining girls remained deep in the Sambisa Forest that serves as a stronghold for Boko Haram, where they were forced to convert to Islam and forced to serve the terror group, handling cooking, laundry, and whatever else might be asked of them.
When food became scarce, they were also starved. Some parents reported that one of the group of about 100 schoolgirls remaining in the forest died of a snakebite, another in childbirth, and that another four died in a bombing. “They’ve just become like skeletons,” said Yana Galang, a community leader of the Chibok parents whose own daughter is among those still missing.
After the successful negotiation for the schoolgirls’ release, the girls said that the militants drove the girls for a few hours before their vehicle broke down. The girls were told to keep walking. After walking for two days, they arrived in a border town where they contacted Nigerian authorities. The video report below shows footage of the families reunited with the girls and goes into deeper detail about what some of them said they experienced while in captivity.
Read the full story at The New York Times.