15 Apr 2016

Video of kidnapped Nigerian girls offers hope

8:18 am on 15 April 2016

A new video showing some of the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped two years ago gives hope they may return, their family and friends say.

The footage obtained by CNN, apparently filmed in December, shows 15 girls in black robes identifying themselves.

The girls were taken from a school in the town of Chibok by members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.

The kidnapping triggered the global social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

The kidnapping triggered the global social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Photo: AFP

The kidnapping of the 276 girls triggered the global social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

The campaign involved US first lady Michelle Obama and a host of celebrities. Despite their efforts, most of the girls are still missing two years on.

The footage of the girls is the first to be seen since May 2014, when about 100 of them were shown in a video.

But Nigeria's Information Minister Lai Mohammed urged caution, saying the government had received a similar video last July that led to a "cul-de-sac".

He queried why it had been released now, if filmed in December, but stressed the government was "ready to explore all avenues that will lead to the release of the girls".

The footage was broadcast after being handed to the Nigerian government.

Apparently filmed on Christmas Day 2015, it shows the girls pleading with the Nigerian government to co-operate with militants on their release.

They said they were being treated well but wanted to be with their families.

Ayuba Alamson Chibok told AFP news agency he had recognised two of his nieces. "It has given some hope," he said. "Now we can believe these girls are still alive and we pray that they are released soon."

- BBC