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Boko Haram frees 82 Chibok schoolgirls in exchange for prisoners, Buhari says

19 May 2017, 09:38 | Taylor George

Boko Haram frees 82 Chibok schoolgirls in exchange for prisoners, Buhari says

PGDBA&HND Mass Communication shows some of the 82 released Chibok girls waiting before a meeting with Nigeria's President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja

The Nigerian army says it will not relent in its effort to secure the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other Nigerians in Boko Haram captivity.

Speaking while presenting a peace flag to the Nigerian army, at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, Princess Lillian Cosmos, FCT Coordinator, Africa Arise for Change Network commended President Buhari for keeping to his promise and facilitating the freedom of the girls after three years.

She said pictures of the 82 girls had been sent for their parents to confirm their identification as some have similar names.

"As the military authorities have begun to coordinate their activities more effectively, they and the civilian authorities have gained access to areas previously under the control of Boko Haram".

"The 21 girls initially said they won't like to go back to school in Chibok but after the various rehabilitation and reintegration process they have gone through, they are now set to return to school in September; they are now fit and eager to go back to school". A first group of 21 girls was freed in October, and they have been in government care since then.

After months of negotiations, 82 girls were finally released on Saturday (6 May) in exchange for five militant leaders.

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The women's minister said the recently-released 82 would be reunited at another facility in the capital with 24 of their classmates who were released or found a year ago.

"I am very, very excited with this development", said Yana Galang, whose daughter, Rifkatu, was among the girls kidnapped.

Many of the Chibok girls are Christian but were photographed in Muslim garb by their captors, and some were forced to take militants as husbands and bear their children. According to the United Nations, "it includes, among others, access to quality education to bridge the learning gap created during the abduction, access to reproductive health care for their sexual well-being and rehabilitation support, and a skills-acquisition programme to ease their reintegration into their society". This was the largest release negotiated by the Nigerian government.

A kidnapped Chibok schoolgirl who recently had the chance to be freed chose to remain with her militant fighter husband, it has emerged.

"I am feeling bad", she told the Reuters news agency about her decision to leave her daughter behind in Chibok. In that regard, the Special Rapporteurs urged the Nigerian Government to swiftly take all necessary measures to locate them and ensure their safe return.

"We're negotiating seriously to have the rest of the#ChibokGirls released".



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