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  • Names of missing Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgency five years ago are displayed during the 5th year anniversary of their abduction, in Abuja, Nigeria April 14, 2019.

    Names of missing Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgency five years ago are displayed during the 5th year anniversary of their abduction, in Abuja, Nigeria April 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 April 2019

Five years ago 112 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram from Chibok town of Nigeria. The town still awaits their return.

Nigeria’s Chibok town still awaits the return of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram five years ago.

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On April 14, 2014, a Sunday, more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the extremist armed group in the northeastern town of Nigeria.

Boko Haram fighters forcibly took away at least 276 school girls from the public secondary school out of which 57 girls managed to jump out of the trucks they were transported in and escaped.

The remaining 219 were abducted by the fighters.

A campaign #BringBackOurGirls went viral internationally with people from all walks of life demanding the freedom of the girls.

Later, as part of a deal between the Nigerian government and the armed group, 107 girls were found or released.

"They [the government] are not talking about our girls anymore. They are acting as if they are happy about what happened to us," Enock Mark, father of two missing girls told Al-Jazeera.

"We have lost hope in the government helping us. They have not shown any serious interest in ensuring that our daughters are found. It looks like it was done intentionally. They don't care about us anymore," he said.

But they will not give up until they die, Mark said.

The parents of the missing girls often travel 900km to reach the capital city Abuja for updates about their daughters.

The Nigerian government has been criticized for doing little to nothing for the girls. Some parents have died awaiting the return of their daughters. "There is great pain in our heart every day when we remember our missing daughters. We leave it to God to help us," Mark said.

According to Chibok community leaders, the missing girls may have been forced to integrate with Boko Haram. Others might be ashamed to return home because they were forced to marry and give birth.

The campaign Bring Back Our Girls is still ongoing but the group has thinned out over the past few years. The international community has also gone quiet.

"It is quite challenging to sustain a singular core demand - #BringBackOurGirls - when facing a government that has taken up a disinterested and hostile stance for almost five years," the spokesperson of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Nifemi Onifade, told Al-Jazeera.

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