Video has surfaced showing at least 15 of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants two years ago pleading for their freedom.
Filmed standing against a brick wall, the young women – taken from the beds of their school dormitory in 2014 – were recorded to provide ‘proof of life’ in a clip sent to negotiators by their captors.
The video is believed to have been made in December and is being used as collateral in discussions between Nigeria and the extremists.
In it, the girls – all dressed in full length, black robes – state their names, their school and where they are from.
They show no visible signs of injury or maltreatment and do not look starved. The video was obtained by CNN who played it to the mothers of several of the missing girls.
The women collapsed in tears as they recognise all of the pupils lined up in the recording.
For some, their daughters are pictured. For others, their girls are not seen.
Rifkatu Ayuba is one of the mothers whose 17-year-old was shown in the clip.
Upon seeing her, she wails ‘My Saratu!’ as she reaches desperately to grab a hold of the computer.
Ms Ayuba said: ‘I felt like removing her from the screen. If I could, I would have removed her from the screen.’
Nigerian militants took 276 girls from their dormitory at Chibok Government Secondary School in their April 14, 2014, night raid.
Only a small dozen managed to escape, recounting the horrors of the kidnap to their families and the authorities.
Those taken have never been seen since, with no solid indication as to their whereabouts having yet been established.
The video clip – until now only seen by Nigerian Government officials and hostage negotiators – ends with one of the girls, Naomi Zakaria, making a scripted appeal begging for the country’s authorities to help get the group back to their families.