Nigerian president meets with freed Chibok girls

Freed girls from Chibok wait in Abuja on May 7, 2017. (AFP/Getty Images)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with 82 girls who have been freed from the clutches of Boko Haram. The meeting occurred on Sunday, just one day after the girls were released from captivity after more than three years, according to The Associated Press.

Writing on Twitter, Buhari said that government officials “always made it clear that we will do everything in our power to ensure the freedom & safe return of our daughters.”

The BBC reports that Buhari had been scheduled to leave for London early Sunday, to receive treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. He reportedly postponed his trip so he would be able to receive the Chibok girls, as victims of the Boko Haram kidnapping are known.

The young women were handed over to the Nigerian government on Saturday, in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders, an unnamed official told the AP. The deal was brokered with the help of the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

Prior to meeting with the President, the girls were tended to at a medical center in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. But the girls face a “long and difficult process” of recovery, Pernille Ironside, acting representative of UNICEF Nigeria, told the AP. Many of the girls have endured sexual assault and other traumas during their captivity.

Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group seized 276 schoolgirls from a boarding school in Chibok in 2014. The kidnapping—and the government’s failure to retrieve the victims — sparked the international Bring Back Our Girls movement.

Last year, 21 girls were freed in yet another deal between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. For more on the story, watch the video below.

Read more at The Associated Press.


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