Rescued Chibok schoolgirl expresses desire to return home in first interview

The first rescued Chibok schoolgirl of more than 200 abducted by Boko Haram and kept captive in northeast Nigeria for two years has spoken of her wish simply to return home.

In her first interview, Amina Ali, who was rescued with her four-month-old baby in May in Borno state, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: "I just want to go home - I don't know about school. I will decide about school when I get back, but I have no idea when I will be going home."

Ali, 21, and her baby have been hidden away in a house in Nigeria's capital Abuja since their rescue for what the government said was a "restoration process".

Boko Haram kidnapped 219 girls from their secondary school in Chibok in April 2014.

Amina Ali pictured with her child. Credit: Reuters

Some girls managed to escape but many are still held by the militant Islamist group, which has killed around 15,000 and displaced more than two million as part of its insurgency.

Ali's interview comes days after Boko Haram released a video showing some of the kidnapped girls.

"I think about them a lot," she said. "I would tell them to be hopefuland prayerful. In the same way God rescued me, he will also rescue them."

Ali told her mother that the girls, who are being held in Sambisa forest, were starved and had resorted to eating raw maize. She also said some had died in captivity, suffered broken legs or gone deaf after being too close to explosions.

Amina Ali's mother Binta. Credit: Reuters

Ali was found by the army along with suspected Boko Haram militant Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be her husband.

"I want him to know that I am still thinking about him," she said. "Just because we got separated, that does not mean that I don't think about him."

Ali's mother Binta said she feared for her daughter's future. She said before her daughter had been kidnapped, she had wanted to further her education, but was now afraid of school and wanted a sewing machine to start a clothes-making business.

Boko Haram roughly translates as "Western education is forbidden", and the group's militants have waged a war on what they perceive to be the trappings of Western civilisation.