Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Chibok Girls: FG ready to negotiate for release of captives

On the previously released 21 Chibok girls, she said the girls were reunited with their families within one week of their return in October 2016.

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.

The release of the 82 girls followed negotiations led by the Nigerian government; the Swiss government also participated, while the Red Cross provided transportation for the freed girls. Shortly after receiving the girls at the presidential state house in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that he was leaving for London, his second medical trip in 2017. Thousands have been kidnapped or killed in the group's eight-year insurgency, with millions driven from their homes.

Families in Chibok are meeting with community leaders to identify photos of the newly freed schoolgirls to determine if they will travel to the capital to meet them.

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One father said he was thrilled to find out his daughter was among those released in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders.

This was revealed by the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan. reports that the President's wife, Aisha Buhari met some of the released girls on Wednesday. "Now he doesn't know where she is and he is not allowed to go and see her", Yesufu told CNN.

"We have no apologies or regrets whatsoever for exchanging Boko Haram detainees for our daughters".

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The group of girls released in October were in "bad shape" and spent two months in medical care, the minister said.

"The president made a promise that he will educate them", he said, adding that parents of the girls were anxious about having to pay for their schooling if it was not covered by the state.

"The other girls released earlier have been undergoing some teachings in Biology, Civic Education, English, Mathematics and Geography pending the time they will resume school".

Mediator and lawyer Zannah Mustapha said some of the abducted girls refused to be freed last weekend, raising concerns they had been radicalized and may feel afraid, ashamed or even too powerful to return to their old lives.

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A total of 276 girls were kidnapped and 113 have not escaped or been released. Human rights advocates have said they fear some of the girls have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.

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