Leah Sharibu: The Only Schoolgirl Remaining in Boko Haram Captivity Is Sixteen Today

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Leah Sharibu, only schoolgirl remaining in Boko Haram captivity after the Dapchi kidnappings, turns sixteen today. 

Sharibu was abducted by terrorists, alongside 111 other girls and another schoolboy, on February 19, 2018 in Bursari local government area of Yobe state. She was 14 at the time.

A month later, precisely on March 21, all but six of the abducted girls were released following a negotiation between the federal government and the terrorists, brokered by the Swizz government and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Out of the six, only Sharibu remains in captivity, the five others had died in captivity. She was detained because she refused to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

Her whereabouts remain unknown despite promises by the federal government to get her released.

To force the government’s hand to negotiate with it last year, the group executed Saifura Ahmed and Hauwa Liman, two of the three female humanitarian workers abducted in Rann, Borno State days after the Dapchi raid.

When Ahmed was killed, Sharibu, who was also threatened with execution, was allowed to send an audio message to the government to secure her freedom.

“I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.

“I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly the president, to pity me and get me out of this serious situation,” she pleaded.

She has been in Boko Haram captivity for 449 days.

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