Here is a timeline of significant events since the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria a year ago on next Tuesday.
- April 2014 -
– 14: 276 girls, aged from 12 to 17, are seized from the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram gunmen storm the girls’ boarding school, forcing them from their dormitories onto trucks and driving them into the bush. Fifty-seven girls manage to flee.
– 29: Parents lash out at the government’s failure to rescue the girls.
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- May -
– 1: Hundreds of parents, many dressed in red, protest in Chibok to demand help from the government and other countries.
– 5: Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau claims responsibility in a video statement for the mass abduction, and vows to sell the girls as slave brides.
– 7: US First Lady Michelle Obama tweets a picture of herself with a sign reading #BringBackOurGirls, joining a social media storm.
The campaign also attracts politicians, actors and other prominent public figures, such as Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and CNN star anchor Christiane Amanpour.
– 9: Amnesty International claims Nigeria’s military was warned of the school attack but failed to take action due to lack of manpower. The military denies the allegation.
The UN Security Council strongly condemns the mass kidnappings which it says “may amount to crimes against humanity” under international law.
– 10: British, French and US experts provide help for the search operation. China and Israel also offer assistance.
– 12: Boko Haram releases a new video showing about 100 of the missing girls, alleging the teenagers have converted to Islam and will not be released until militants are freed in a prisoner exchange.
– 17: Nigeria and its neighbours Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger vow to work together to fight Boko Haram in what Cameroon President Paul Biya describes as a “declaration of war”.
– 21: The United States deploys 80 military personnel to Chad to help regional efforts to rescue the schoolgirls.
– 26: Nigeria’s highest ranking military officer, Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh, says they have located the missing teenagers but warns a rescue operation would put their lives at risk.
– 27: News emerges that Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo has been in talks with Boko Haram to broker a deal to release the girls.
- June -
– 12: Representatives from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin agree to strengthen joint efforts to find the schoolgirls and defeat Boko Haram.
- July -
– 18: Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima says 176 teachers have been killed and 900 schools destroyed in Borno since Boko Haram began attacking them in 2011, because they are centres of Western education
– 22: First meeting between Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the schoolgirls’ relatives.
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- September -
– 25: Nigeria’s police claim that one of the schoolgirls has been found but elders reject the claim.
- October -
– 14: Protesters mark six months since the abduction with a march on the Nigerian presidency but are blocked.
– 17: Nigeria’s chief security spokesman Mike Omeri says no deal is in place to release the girls after the presidency says a ceasefire deal has been reached with Boko Haram.
Boko Haram chief Shekau later dismisses the ceasefire claim and says all the girls have been “married off”.
- November -
– 14: Boko Haram seizes Chibok. The army recaptures it two days later.
- February 2015 -
– 8: Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai calls for global support to demand “urgent action” to release the girls, on their 300th day in captivity.
- March -
– 6: Work begins to rebuild the kidnapped girls’ school in Chibok.
– 17: Nigeria’s army chief admits there is “no news for now” about the girls’ fate, despite military successes in recapturing towns from the insurgents.
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