Nigeria: still without news of the 300 children kidnapped by Boko Haram

We remember the global outpouring of solidarity during the kidnapping of 400 students by Boko Haram in 2014. The #BringBackOurGirls is witness to everyone's efforts to obtain their release.

MUnfortunately, the same year, the 300 schoolchildren of Zana Mobarti had not aroused the same excitement. On November 24, 2014, Boko Haram troops arrive in Damasak, block the roads and trap the villagers. They enter primary school, close the doors and kidnap the 300 children aged 7 to 17.

A mother says:

“It was early in the morning when I heard the gunfire and the chaos. My husband had already left home to go to the market. So I grabbed my children, my 4 year old son and my 2 year old daughter. And I ran. But we ran into Boko Haram, they detained us in the center of the city. They brought more and more women and children. Then they took us all to Zana Mobarti's school… I haven't seen my children since that day. "

Boko Haram therefore uses this school as a military base. The massacres follow. Witnesses speak of hundreds of corpses.

“They [Boko Haram] arrived at Zana Mobarti primary school, attacked it and closed all the doors. There were at least 300 captive children before some managed to escape. They refused to teach children in English. They locked them up and taught them the Koran. I was held captive by Boko Haram for at least 6 days in Damasak. I was able to escape by falling into the river. Many people were thrown into the river. Some managed to swim to escape. Some could not hold on to the weeds. Some people were being shot. Below the bridge, we found a lot of corpses and skeletons. Many people were shot and thrown into the river. Even today, we do not know where our children are. "

Videos and satellite images obtained and analyzed by Human Rights Watching confirm this testimony: 70 corpses under the bridge, more than 400 bodies in the city. All 300 children have been displaced. None returned. They are, according to witnesses, in the hands of Boko Haram, on the border with Chad. In Nigeria, in 6 years of conflict, Boko Haram has killed hundreds of civilians, abducted women and children, destroyed towns, villages and over 900 schools.


Photo credit: Reuters

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