Some of the girls kidnapped from taking exams at school have escaped from their captors. They were not rescued; they managed to get out on their own power. The Nigerian government’s response to the abduction has so far been discouraging.
The day after the abduction, the Nigerian military claimed that it had rescued nearly all of the girls. A day later, the military retracted its claim; it had not actually rescued any of the girls. And the number that the government said was missing, just over a hundred, was less than half the number that parents and school officials counted: according to their tally, two hundred and thirty-four girls were taken.
In the wake of the military’s failure, parents banded together and raised money to send several of their number into the forest to search for the girls. The group came across villagers who persuaded the parents to turn back. They told the parents that they had seen the girls nearby, but the insurgents were too well armed. Many of the parents had just bows and arrows.
The reason why Boko Haram decided to kidnap these girls (they are a mix of Christian and Muslim, according to Okeowo’s article) was simply that they were attending school. The government’s response to a terrorist group kidnapping triple digits of schoolgirls and selling them into sexual slavery is to pretend to have done something, and then still not do anything. Those girls are left to twist in the wind.