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Boko Haram releases 21 Chibok Girls to Nigerian government

13 October 2016 World


Boko Haram militants has handed over 21 missing Chibok schoolgirls to Nigerian authorities Thursday morning as part of a deal brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Swiss government, Nigeria’s government said.

Also confirming the report via their official Twitter account, the ICRC said,

“1/2 Today we transferred 21 of the #Chibokgirls and handed them to the #Nigeria government authorities, acting as a neutral intermediary.

2/2 We cannot provide any further comment at this stage in the best interest of the girls concerned #Chibokgirls #Nigeria”

The girls are being taken to the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where they will meet with the governor of Borno state, officials in the state said. The girls were not immediately named.

The 21 are said to be among the 276 girls that Boko Haram militants herded from bed in the middle of the night at a school in northern Nigeria in April 2014 — a kidnapping that spurred global outrage.

Terms of Thursday’s deal were not immediately announced, but no jailed Boko Haram fighters were released in exchange for the girls, a source with direct knowledge of the release said on condition of anonymity, according to CNN reports.

Mallam Garba Shehu, spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Twitter that the 21 released girls are now in the custody of the Department of State Services, the Nigerian domestic intelligence agency.

The agency chief has briefed the government, Shehu tweeted, and has said the girls need to rest “with all of them very tired coming out of the process before he hands them over to the Vice President.”

 

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