The Nigerian army has found one of the “Chibok girls” who were kidnapped by the jihadist group Boko Haram eight years ago, the third in recent weeks, military officials said Wednesday.
The girl was among 276 schoolgirls aged 12-17 who were abducted from their boarding school in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria in 2014.
Their plight sparked a global campaign under the hashtag “BringBackOurGirls“.
The commander of troops in the region, Christopher Musa presented Ruth Bitrus, 24, along with her two-year-old son to journalists in front of a military barracks.
“Today we have among us one of the Chibok girls, the third we have found within two months,” Musa said at the ceremony.
He did not say when Bitrus was found.
The young woman, who was 16 when she was kidnapped, escaped at night and walked for three days through the bush before reaching the town of Bama and approaching troops.
“I have been looking for a way to escape (from) the very day we were kidnapped,” she told reporters at the ceremony, carrying her child in her arms.
“I was forced to convert to Islam and married to a man with whom I had this child.”
Last month, two other “Chibok girls” were found separately after fleeing the Sambisa Forest, a significant hideout for jihadists.
Of the 276 schoolgirls abducted in 2014, 57 had managed to escape, and another 80 had been exchanged for Boko Haram commanders in negotiations with the authorities.
Other girls were later found, but more than a hundred remain missing.
According to propaganda videos, many were forcibly married to jihadist fighters.
Since the kidnapping, many other schools and universities have been attacked in northern Nigeria in recent years, some by jihadists, but mostly by criminal groups which engage in mass kidnapping for ransom.
The jihadist insurgency in the northeast has lasted 13 years, leaving 40,000 dead and 2.2 million displaced.