Monday, March 26, 2018

Freed schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram return home

More than 100 Nigerian schoolgirls, most of those recently kidnapped by Boko Haram, have gone home to their families, four days after being freed.

The jihadist group abducted the girls from the town of Dapchi in February.

After their release from captivity and a brief emotional meeting with their parents, the schoolgirls were flown to the capital to meet the president.

The girls - warned by Boko Haram not to return to school - were escorted back to Dapchi by Nigerian soldiers.

As well as meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, the newly-released girls underwent medical and security screenings.

The schoolgirls, who were kidnapped from their boarding school on 19 February, were reportedly released by the side of a road almost five weeks later.

A total of 110 girls were originally kidnapped, but five did not survive the ordeal and one other - a Christian who refused to convert to Islam - is still being held.

"The Buhari administration will not relent in efforts to bring [her] safely back home to her parents," a statement said.

Two other people - a boy and another girl from Dapchi - were freed at the same time, officials also said.

The government denies claims that Boko Haram was paid a ransom for the girls' freedom, or that there was a prisoner swap.

Information Minister Lai Mohammad told the BBC's Focus on Africa that the girls' return was part of ongoing talks about an amnesty in return for a ceasefire.

No comments:

Post a Comment