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GRIEF TAKES TOLL: At least 11 parents of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have died

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/22/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Village of Chibok cut off by militants; few expect to ever see girls alive again

Grief and worry takes its toll on human health. Ever since more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram terror group three months ago, four of their parents have died from heart failure; seven of the girls' fathers were killed in an attack in a nearby village last month, bringing the number of deceased parents to 11. 

Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok, Nigeria.

Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok, Nigeria.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/22/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Chibok, Boko Haram, schoolgirls, abduction, grief, parents


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," one Chibok resident says.

Chibok, the town where the girls were kidnapped, is now cut off from the rest of the country due to frequent attacks on the roads littered with burned out vehicles. Adding to the isolation is the fact that commercial flights no longer land into the area. The Nigerian government has halted charter flights.

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met this week with parents of the 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls along with some classmates who managed to escape from Islamic extremists.

Jonathan pledged to continue working to see the girls "are brought out alive," a spokesman said.

Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to the Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month. The other four parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses. The village blames these deaths on trauma due to the mass abduction more than 100 days ago.

The situation here grows darker still. Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok, attacking villages ever closer to the town. Those who survive the assaults are swarming into the town, swelling its population and straining resources.

Some of the young women who managed to escape are recovering. Girls who had first refused to discuss their experience, are now talking about it and taking part in therapeutic activities.

More importantly, girls who said they would never go back to school now are thinking about how to continue their education.

Counseling is being offered to families of those abducted and to some of the 57 students who managed to escape in the first few days, said the health worker.

All the escapees remain deeply concerned about their schoolmates who did not get away. Few currently believe that those who were kidnapped will ever be seen alive again.

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