Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is requesting to have their imprisoned fighters freed in exchange for the release of the remaining abducted school girls who are still being held hostage.
In a bizarre video released earlier this week, a masked gunman is seen surrounded by nearly 50 young girls while demanding the release of their fighters in exchange for the release of the remaining captured school girls abducted by the group back in April of 2014. BBC reports an estimated 200 of the 276 girls abducted are believed to be still held captive. The masked representative in the video later reveals that some of the girls are seriously injured before confirming that 40 of them have been involuntarily married off.
A staged interview between one of the girls and the masked militant also takes place, where the young girl is heard pleading with her parents to oblige the request of the group and release their fighters.
Samuel Yaga, who is the father of abducted school girl Serah Samuel, was immediately able to identify his daughter in the video. He says the footage is heartbreaking and makes the parents of the girls feel even more helpless. “I have watched the video several times. I saw her sitting down. The fact is we are overwhelmed with a feeling of depression,” he continued. “It’s like being beaten and being stopped from crying. You helplessly watch your daughter but there is nothing you can do. It’s a real heartache.”
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Yaga also spoke on the horrible feeling of knowing that his daughter and the others captured were being forced into unwanted marriages. “As ordinary men, there is nothing we [the other fathers and I] can do on our own. We are just here unable to do anything with our lives. You see your child but someone denies you from having it. They are being forcefully married and they now live in terrible conditions.”
The government is said to currently be in contact with those responsible for the video. Hopefully this means freedom is finally on the horizon for the remaining young girls caught in the middle of this horrific ordeal.