Boko Haram Frees 82 Schoolgirls From 2014 Capture
The Boko Haram extremists have agreed to release 82 schoolgirls who were captured in 2014. Many of the girls’ parents have met in Abuja, Nigeria to reconnect with their daughters while some remained home. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with the girls early Monday morning before leaving for London.
A total of 276 girls were abducted from a Chibok boarding school, according to ABC News. While abductions haven’t been an uncommon tactic of the extremist group over he past eight years, this particular kidnapping gained international attention, resulting in a #BringBackOurGirls hashtag.
“They will face a long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” Pernille Ironside, acting representative of Unicef Nigeria, told The Independent.
After the girls met with Buhari, news outlets released an official list of the names of the ones in the group. For some families, this resulted in a wave of relief as they would be reunited with their daughters, granddaughters and nieces after three long years. For others, the were left with the uncertainty of whether or not they would ever experience such a reunion. Especially after a group of girls who came home in October claim some of their classmates had died due to illness. Government officials also speculate some of them have been used to carry out suicide bombings.
An anonymous government official reports that the release of the girls was in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders. 113 Chibok schoolgirls are still missing.