#BringBackOurGirls

21 Chibok girls freed in deal with Boko Haram

Members of the "Bring Back Our Girls" movement, holding a banner showing photographs of some of the missing, march to press for the release of the schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 from their school in Chibok by Islamist group Boko Haram, during a rally in Abuja on January 14, 2016. STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Twenty-one Chibok girls, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago, have been freed as part of a prisoner swap with the Nigerian government, The Associated Press reports. In exchange for the girls’ return, the government has released four Boko Haram leaders from prison, although there are conflicting reports about whether or not those were the terms of the deal.

The girls have been taken to the city of Maiduguri in Borno state, where they will meet with the governor. They are currently in the custody of Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency.

The deal was brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government. Previous attempts to negotiate for the release of the 276 schoolgirls, who were snatched from their beds in April 2014, had been unsuccessful.

Dozens of captives have escaped on their own. Approximately 197 girls remain in the clutches of the Islamist group, though it is not clear how many are still alive.

“We thank the federal government,” Professor Hauwa Biu, an activist in Maiduguri, told the AP, “and, like Oliver Twist, we ask for more.”

Read the full story at the The Associated Press.

 

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