A video that the Islamist group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, released appeared to show the school girls that were kidnapped 2 years ago at Chibok town.
The video was sent to the Nigerian government apparently said to have been filmed in December. It shows the girls covered in black robes and identifying themselves to be the pupils who were abducted on their way from school.
Parents have identified some those filmed.
This is the first footage featuring the girls to be sent since May 2014.
The global social media campaign, #BringBackOurGirls was triggered when the 276 girls were kidnapped. The campaign involved the US first lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities.
However, in spite of their attempts, the girls are yet to be reunited with their families.
In the mean time, it is expected that hundreds of parents will march in Abuja, Nigeria capital, to demand that the government does more to return the girls back home.
The BBC’s Martin Patience in Abuja says they blame the previous government for doing nothing when the abduction took place and now the current administration for failing to devote enough resources to the search.
On 14th April 2014, Boko Haram militants attacked the govt boarding school that is based in Borno state and seized the girls who were taking exams.
Shortly after the kidnap, they released a video and demanded that there be prisoner exchange.
The video is too short and therefore making it hard to comment on the girl’s health status. But the 15 that were shown appeared to have been fed well and did not show that they are distressed in any way. However, it is possible that the captors may opt to choose them from the remaining 219 so as to give that impression.
It is clear that the Boko Haram considers the girls to be a valuable tool for which they can negotiate with the government to have prisoners released. They have even indicated in the past willingness to exchange some of the girls with their kidnapped commanders.
The video has however raised other questions as to how talks are proceeding over the girls’ release – what is the motive for releasing the video to a media house in the middle of negotiations that have the trust of all involved?