After months of speculation over whether or not more of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls would be released from their captors’ grasp, reports have surfaced that a few have run their way to freedom. Sixty-three girls and young women who Boko Haram militants kidnapped in April have reportedly escaped and returned to their villages.
Abbas Gava, a Nigerian vigilante, said to Time that he “received an alert from my colleagues … that about 63 of the abducted women and girls had made it back home.” Bukar Kyari, another vigilante, said that the girls managed to escape while their captors left them to launch an attack in the town of Damboa, according to CNN. Fifty-three Boko Haram militants, five police officers and six military troops were killed during that attack. While the girls’ escape was successful, Boko Haram militants, who want to establish an Islamist state, still have more than 200 schoolgirls in captivity.
Reports of the girls’ escape were slow to surface because of trouble with communication towers from Boko Haram attacks. But, a “high-level though unnamed security source” confirmed the escape to the news agency AFP. These confirmed reports along with videos, stories and personal testimonies are the bits of evidence that U.S. media has tried to piece together for answers. And, while the success of those attempts are questionable, social media mavens wanted to add their voice to the conversation, developing the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag on Twitter and hosting rallies to show their support. Many believe that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan‘s decision to even speak out against the kidnappings was because of how viral the Twitter movement became — even First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted her support.
While news of the recent escape is positive, we still have to not only be aware of the more than 200 girls still in captivity, but also of what comes next for the girls who did get out. Will they have support and resources from their family or will their own stories hold enough merit for the public to shed light on their experiences? Only time will tell of how we will share that information if the remaining captive girls have a similar fate to those who escaped.
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! 23 Past & Present Honorees
1. BLACK GIRLS ROCK!1 of 24
2. Queen Latifah- 2013 Rock Star AwardSource:gettyimages 2 of 24
3. Venus Williams- 2013 Star Power AwardSource:gettyimages 3 of 24
4. Patti LaBelle- 2013 Living Legend AwardSource:gettyimages 4 of 24
5. Misty Copeland- 2013 Young, Gifted & Black AwardSource:gettyimages 5 of 24
6. Mara Brock Akil- 2013 Shot Caller AwardSource:gettyimages 6 of 24
7. Marian Wright Edelman- 2013 Social HumanitarianSource:gettyimages 7 of 24
8. Dionne Warwick- 2012 Living Legend AwardSource:gettyimages 8 of 24
9. Kerry Washington- 2012 Star Power AwardSource:gettyimages 9 of 24
10. Susan Taylor- 2012 Inspiration AwardSource:gettyimages 10 of 24
11. Alicia Keys- 2012 Rock Star AwardSource:gettyimages 11 of 24
12. Janelle Monae- 2012 Young, Gifted and Black AwardSource:gettyimages 12 of 24
13. Dr. Hawa Abdi- 2012 Social Humanitarian AwardSource:gettyimages 13 of 24
14. Shirley Caesar \- 2011 Living Legend AwardSource:gettyimages 14 of 24
15. Angela Davis- 2011 Icon AwardSource:gettyimages 15 of 24
16. Taraji P. Henson- 2011 Star Power AwardSource:gettyimages 16 of 24
17. Laurel Richie- 2011 Shot Caller AwardSource:gettyimages 17 of 24
18. Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar– 2011 Trailblazer AwardsSource:bet.com 18 of 24
19. Tatyana Ali- 2011 Young, Gifted & Black AwardSource:gettyimages 19 of 24
20. Ruby Dee- 2010 Living Legend AwardSource:gettyimages 20 of 24
21. Missy Elliott- 2010 Visionary AwardSource:gettyimages 21 of 24
22. Keke Palmer- 2010 Who Got Next?Source:gettyimages 22 of 24
23. Raven-Symone- 2010 Young, Gifted & Black AwardSource:gettyimages 23 of 24
24. Iyanla Vanzant- 2010 Motivation Award24 of 24