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Nigeria Chibok Girls: 82 Freed by Boko Haram

Nigeria Chibok Girls: 82 Freed by Boko HaramNigeria Chibok Girls: 82 Freed by Boko Haram

Boko Haram have released 82 schoolgirls from a group of 276 they abducted in northeastern Nigeria three years ago, the president’s office says.

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 was quoted as saying by BBC.

The abduction of the “Chibok girls” triggered a global outcry and sparked a huge social media campaign. Before the latest release, about 195 of the girls were still missing.

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.

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.

After the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, was raided in April 2014, more than 50 girls quickly escaped and Boko Haram then freed another 21 last October, after negotiations with the Red Cross.

Last month, President Buhari said the government remained “in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed”.

Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of other people during its eight-year insurgency. More than 30,000 others have been killed, the government says, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee from their homes.

 

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