Nigeria #ChibokGirls: 82 freed by Boko Haram
7 May 2017 World
The Boko Haram group has released 82 schoolgirls from a group of 276 it abducted in north-eastern Nigeria three years ago, the president’s office says.
According to the BBC, they were handed over in exchange for Boko Haram suspects after negotiations.
The girls will be received by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Sunday, a statement said.
The abduction of the so-called “Chibok girls” triggered a global outcry and sparked a huge social media campaign.
The number of Boko Haram suspects released by authorities remains undisclosed.
The 82 schoolgirls are now in the custody of the Nigerian army and were brought by road convoy from a remote area to a military base in Banki near the border with Cameroon, reports the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.
A BBC reporter says that many families in Chibok will be rejoicing at this latest news, but more than 100 of the girls taken have yet to be returned.
Christian pastor Enoch Mark, whose two daughters were among those kidnapped, told Agence France-Presse: “This is good news to us. We have been waiting for this day. We hope the remaining girls will soon be released.” It was unclear whether his daughters had been freed.
A statement from a spokesman for President Buhari said he was deeply grateful to “security agencies, the military, the Government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs” for playing a role in the operation.
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