Parents scan list of 82 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram

Parents scan list of 82 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram

Eighty-three Chibok schoolgirls seized three years ago by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria have been released into military custody, authorities said late yesterday, a dramatic development in the mass abduction that brought the extremist group's rampage to world attention.

The rehabilitation process has previously been criticised, mainly for keeping the girls in Abuja, around 560 miles from their families in Chibok.

Nigeria said on Saturday it had secured the release of 82 girls in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Boko Haram has been fighting to impose a hard line Islamic state on northeastern Nigeria since 2009.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari headed to London on Sunday for what his office said was a "follow-up medical consultation" with his doctors, after weeks of mounting concern about his health. Its insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.

The 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in April 2014 are among thousands of people abducted by Boko Haram over the years.

She said government should do its best to see that the 82 freed girls were given full rehabilitation so that they can be reintegrated into the society. "'Will my daughter be there?' they keep asking today".

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We cannot and should not put differing values on the lives of Nigerian citizens and the government must do all it can to have everyone that has been abducted by the terrorists released.

The statement said: "The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry".

Human rights advocates also fear some of the girls kidnapped from the Chibok boarding school have been used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.

Some parents did not live long enough to see their daughters released, underscoring the tragedy of the three-year saga.

Human rights officials have said some of the escapees described forced marriages and rapes, forced conversions to Islam, and forced labor and participation in attacks.

A few others have escaped or been rescued, and 113 of the girls are believed to be still held in captivity by Boko Haram. One has a broken arm and another has a leg injury, Nigeria's information minister, Lai Mohammed, told CNN.

"A lot of factors come into play when a nation has to decide whether or not to engage in prisoner/hostage swap".

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