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Chibok Girls: Red Cross and Swiss government helped secure release

Chibok Girls: Red Cross and Swiss government helped secure release

Boko Haram

The Nigerian government has given further details on the release on Thursday morning of 21 Chibok girls by the Boko Haram insurgent group.

Whiles welcoming the current development, President Buhari who is heading for an official visit of Germany ‘‘cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.’‘

According to a series of tweets from the president’s official spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, the release of the girls was as a result of the outcome of negotiations between the government and Boko Haram. The talks were facilitated by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government.

The girls are currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS). The Director General of the DSS is reported to have said the girls will be handed over to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, after getting some rest.

The government through the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, stated that they had been in talks with Boko Haram even though talks had broken down on three occasions. Buhari recently invited the United Nations (UN) to join in negotiations for the release of the girls.

The Bring Back Our Girls group have repeatedly marched to the presidency demanding action on the part of government whenever Boko Haram released a video of the girls. Buhari ascended to power with a promise to rescue all the girls who were abducted during the tenure of the former government, at a time the insurgents were holding several local government areas in the country’s north east.

READ MORE Chibok, #BringBackOurGirls & the Power of Social Media Activism

Timeline of the Chibok Girls abduction and rescues

  • The girls were abducted on 14 April in 2014
  • A total of 276 girls were abducted at night by the militants at their school
  • Out of the number 57 managed to escape after jumping out of the truck that was transporting them
  • One girl, Amina Ali Nkeki, was found in May year. She was found along with her baby and ‘militant’ partner
  • In August 2016, Boko Haram released a video in which they claimed that military airstrikes had killed some of the girls
    They expressed the desire to swap the girls for their ‘brothers’ who were being held by the Nigerian government.
  • Today, the government has confirmed the rescue of 21 other girls.
  • With 57 who escaped plus 22 rescued, the number still missing comes up to 197.