DAKAR, Senegal – Some of the young women are thriving at a new school. Some have returned home. But the fates of more than 100 other students who were kidnapped from a school in northeastern Nigeria are unknown, five years after Boko Haram militants abducted them.
On Sunday, the fifth anniversary of the kidnappings, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated a pledge he had made years ago to bring back all the students. "We will not rest until all the remaining girls are back and reunited with their families," he said on Twitter. "I made this promise when I became President, and I will keep it."
In 2014, Boko Haram militants stormed a girls' school in Chibok and made off with more than 200 girls who were boarding there — an act that gained widespread attention across the world with the social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
Buhari's message came after months of silence on the topic, which barely registered in campaign discourse during a heated presidential election this year. The kidnappings seem all but forgotten by the outside world.
Protesters who once marched daily in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, are quiet. Activists both locally and globally have mostly gone silent.
Yet the missing students remain constantly on the minds of their parents, who gathered Sunday at the school in Chibok to offer prayers for their return. "They are losing hope," said Allen Manasa, a village spokesman, adding that in five years the government had yet to brief the parents about their daughters.
New York Times