“WHAT’S your name? Is that the name your parents recognise? Where were you taken from?”
Those are the chilling words uttered by an unseen man behind the camera in a video of the Nigerian schoolgirls who vanished exactly two years ago.
Around 15 young women are seen bowing their heads and looking scared as they hesitantly answer his questions. It is astonishing evidence that at least some of the girls may still be alive and are being held captive by Boko Haram militants.
The footage, thought to have been shot last December, was obtained by CNN and shared with the schoolgirls’ parents. Their mothers are seen bursting into tears as they recognise their daughters and finally have some hope to cling to, after all this time.
“My Saratu!” cries one mother, reaching out to touch the image of her 17-year-old on the laptop screen.
As many as 276 students were abducted from their beds in a dormitory at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeast town of Chibok by gunmen on April 14, 2014. Dozens later escaped, but 219 are still missing.
Their disappearance sparked global outrage, with the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag going viral and even being shared by Michelle Obama. But as time passed, the world’s interest in the case has waned, with many presuming the girls must be dead.