Terrorist group Boko Haram has freed 82 girls it captured in a raid on a Chibok boarding school in April 2014. Some 300 girl students were kidnapped, sparking global outrage and a #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Nigeria has confirmed it swapped the girls for prisoners.
Nigeria’s government says the 82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who have been released in an exchange for detained Boko Haram suspects are expected to meet President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday in the capital.
Buhari’s office tweeted the first official confirmation of the largest release of Chibok girls since the mass kidnapping of 276 more than three years ago.
Many of the kidnapped girls, most of whom were Christians, were forced to marry the Islamic extremists and became pregnant. Human rights advocates believe others could be among the young girls who have been used to carry out suicide bombing attacks.
The government says the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped in negotiations with the extremist group. Similar talks led to the first release of 21 Chibok girls in October.
The latest announcement means 113 girls remain unaccounted for. It is feared some were forced to carry out suicide bombing missions for Boko Haram, which has ties to the Islamic State group.
It was the second group release of Chibok schoolgirls. Nigeria’s government in October announced that 21 girls had been freed after negotiations with Boko Haram, saying another group of 83 would be released “very soon”.
Before Saturday’s release, 195 of the girls had remained captive.
“Huge numbers,” the personal assistant to President Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted late on Saturday.
A Nigerian military official with direct knowledge of the rescue operation said the 83 freed girls were found near the town of Banki in Borno state near Cameroon.
Source: Sacbee and other online sources
#BringBackOurGirls #BokoHaram #Chibok