Animated film tells Chibok girls’ story of escape from Boko Haram

Chibok girls, Children in conflicts

Three girls abducted by Boko Haram from their school in Chibok have described how they made daring escapes from their captors.

Their heartstopping stories of how they fled from the gunmen who grabbed them in a nighttime raid in April are told in a dramatic, animated account for the BBC's 100 Women series.

Lami, Maria and Hajara spoke to the BBC Hausa service and their story has been told through animation to protect their identities. Their account has been published just days after hopes rose that the remaining 219 Chibok girls in captivity could be freed as part of a reported Boko Haram truce.

Lami told how the gunmen gathered all the girls at the Nigerian school and threatened to kill anyone who tried to run away. 

Maria said: “I think there could have been about 100 Boko Haram members – they were all over the school. They outnumbered us. They took us away in their vehicles. We were sitting on oil drums in the vehicle.”

Lami and Maria escaped by jumping from a truck. Lami said: “There was a lot of dust on the road, they couldn't see us. When we jumped out, we started to run. We were running without shoes.

“We found other people. We started to run away from them thinking they were Boko Haram. But they too had run from the town.”

Hajara said she and another girl managed to get away after the gunmen gathered them in a forest in daylight.

They kept bending down as if they were looking for something and eventually were out of sight of their guards. Hajara added: “We then started to run. After we had run for a short distance, we heard them saying 'catch those girls.' We kept running. Whether they came after us not, we didn't know.”

All three girls eventually made their way home to their families. Hajara said: “I haven't forgotten about the other girls who are still in the hands of those people. I keep praying for them.”

Lami added: “May the whole world cry out for these girls to get out so that we continue with our education in school again.”

You can learn more about the BBC's 100 Women series here.

Read a report by Human Rights Watch that details how Boko Haram terrorises schoolgirls and women in Nigeria.

And click here to read the Safe Schools Initiative report.

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