Two more Chibok schoolgirls have been rescued after more than nine years of captivity.
The two survivors now in their 20s, Hauwa Maltha and Esther Marcus, were forced into marriage with the Boko Haram fighters who captured them.
Major General Ibrahim Ali, leader of the Nigerian military operation against the country’s north-eastern extremist insurgency, said the two women were rescued by Nigerian soldiers and reunited with their families.
Maltha reported that she was forced to marry three terrorists during her nine-year captivity. She was eight months pregnant during her rescue and delivered a healthy baby boy on 28 April.
Christian communities within Chibok have been faced with ongoing persecution since 2014 when 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram. Almost 100 remain missing.
The Islamic terrorist group has killed tens of thousands of Christians in Nigeria and displaced millions to discard Western influence and impose strict Islamic Sharia law. They target those who do not share their radical interpretation of Islam, often attacking villages and forcefully converting Christians, other religious minorities, and Muslims who they believe do not appropriately adhere to the teachings of Mohammed. While the Nigerian military repeatedly insists that the group has been defeated, attacks are ongoing.
Many Nigerians have raised concerns about what they perceive as the government’s inaction in holding terrorists accountable for the rising number of attacks and kidnappings.