Video: Boko Haram new video shows Chibok Girls
The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has released a video purporting to show some of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
The footage shows the militant, a gun slung over his shoulder, carrying out a staged interview with one of the girls, who calls herself Maida Yakubu and says she is from Chibok.
The girl is prompted by her interviewer to urge the government to release imprisoned Boko Haram militants.
“What I can say is that our parents should take heart,” she says in the Kabaku language. “Talk to the government so that we can be allowed to go home.”
Another girl among those standing in the background can be seen with a baby. It is feared that many of the schoolgirls have been sexually abused and forced into “marriage” by their captors.
The video also shows a separate scene with bodies on the ground, which the group suggests are those of girls killed by government air strikes.
Boko Haram has waged a violent campaign for years in northern Nigeria in its quest for Islamic rule, and a faction of the group recently pledged loyalty to so-called Islamic State.
Thousands of people have been killed or captured by Boko Haram, whose name translates as “Western education is forbidden”.
Boko Haram has always maintained that the Chibok girls were safe and would only be released if the Nigerian government gave in to its demands.
Through this video, the group is again trying to make the government look like the villain for carrying out air strikes on the militants, which it claims have backfired and hit the abductees instead.
Reigniting public sympathy for the girls might be an attempt to force the government to listen. Boko Haram is attempting to paint the military campaign against the jihadists as a failure.
It is also significant that this video comes shortly after a split in the group, with one faction maintaining that it is the true regional branch of the so-called Islamic State.
The video indicates that the other faction, led by Abubakar Shekau, is the one holding the Chibok girls and so it will use this to show why it cannot be ignored, even if its rivals have foreign backing.
The girls were seized from their school on 14 April 2014, and the failure to bring about their release has caused international outrage.
The Nigerian government, which has sought help from the US and the UK to try to trace the girls, has been accused of not doing enough.
The video is the first such since CNN obtained footage in April purportedly showing 15 of them.
In May, one of the girls was found by an army-backed vigilante group in the Sambisa Forest near the border with Cameroon.