Schoolgirl abducted by Boko Haram found, UN welcomes ‘wonderful news’

  • AFP, United Nations
  • Updated: May 19, 2016 09:49 IST
Amina Ali poses with her 4-month old baby Safiya, one of 219 girls abducted from their school in Chibok more than two years ago, after she was released by Nigeria's army. (AFP Photo)

A senior UN official on Thursday welcomed the freeing of a Nigerian schoolgirl abducted more than two years ago by Boko Haram, but said the jihadist group still holds thousands more people.

One of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok in northeast Nigeria in April 2014, Amina Ali is the first to be recovered safe and sound.

She was found on Tuesday and reunited with her family.

The girl’s return was a “wonderful piece of news”, UN emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien told reporters during a telephone conversation from the nearby city Maiduguri.

“There is a sense of solidarity and a real sense of hope that this is a step toward the future,” he said.

“Let us not forget the other thousands of boys and girls and women who have been abducted,” he added. “It is vital to continue every effort to find those.”

The United Nations is working closely with Nigerian federal and state authorities on those cases, O’Brien said.

Boko Haram has been accused of kidnapping at least 2,000 people since 2009 during an insurgency that has claimed the lives of 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million others.

O’Brien is on a tour of the region, visiting Niger and northern Nigeria. He was expected to travel to Abuja on Wednesday before attending a World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul next week.

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