January 21, 2018

82 freed Chibok schoolgirls arrive in Nigeria's capital

09 May 2017, 03:32 | Kara Nash

Nigeria Chibok girls: Eighty-two freed by Boko Haram

Nigeria State House Chibok schoolgirls recently freed from Islamic extremist captivity are seen during a meeting with Nigeria's Vice P

Snatched in 2014, more than 80 girls were let go before this latest release, including 21 last October.

Femi Adesina says the girls have been received at the airport by the president's chief of staff.

They girls are expected to be hosted by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa at 5:00 p.m. today (Sunday).

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, security operatives, and the global Red Cross on the release of 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls.

The 82 girls were released to worldwide negotiators who have been working in collaboration with the Federal government for their safe return since they were kidnapped in April 2014.

"We pray that this will lead to the release of the remaining girls and all the people that have been captured by the insurgents".

Other Nigerians including some parents of the kidnapped girls gathered in Abuja at the Unity Fountain to celebrate the weekend release.

There was no immediate comment about the exchange from the Nigerian presidency or Boko Haram, the extremists linked to the Islamic State group.

Those girls are still in government care in Abuja for medical attention, trauma counselling and rehabilitation, according to the government.

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On Sunday, The International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted, "Acting as a neutral intermediary, we @ICRC transported 82 #ChibokGirls to the government of #Nigeria" and included a photo of six Red Cross SUVs on a dirt road.

Photographs released by the ICRC showed a line of girls wearing vests emblazoned with the charity's logo waiting to board a military helicopter.

At the initial release of girls in October, the government said the release of another 83 would be coming soon.

In Nigeria's capital, Abuja, anxious families were awaiting the official list of names of the 82 schoolgirls freed.

An advocacy group, #BringBackOurGirls, that has been working toward their rescue said it is "exceedingly delighted" at the release of 82 of the girls who had remained missing since the mass abduction in April 2017.

Boko Haram claimed the captives had converted to Islam, and said they would only be released in exchange for militants held by the Nigerian government.

The campaign for the release of the almost 300 Chibok schoolgirls seized three years ago by Boko Haram says it is glad Nigeria's government is committed to freeing the 113 girls still unaccounted for. The group has split into factions, with one of them maintaining ties to the Islamic State.

Reports stated that numerous captive girls were forced to marry their captors and gave birth to children in the remote forest hideouts where they were kept.

It is believed that some of the girls were strapped with explosives and sent on suicide missions.

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