Boko Haram frees more Chibok girls

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (centre) with the 21 Chibok girls freed by Boko Haram on October 13, 2016. The girls were received by the president at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. PHOTO: TWITTER/PODE

Boko Haram has freed several schoolgirls kidnapped from their school hostel in Chibok, Borno State.

While a section of the Nigerian media suggested that about 82 girls were released, Al-Jazeera’s, citing government sources, said only 62 were freed.

About 276 female students were kidnapped by Boko Haram from the Government Girls Secondary School on April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven of the girls escaped while being taken away while three others were found or rescued by the military.

On October 13, 2016, 21 girls were freed after the Swiss government and international Committee of Red Cross brokered a deal between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government.

The Nigerian government said in April it was collaborating with “foreign entities” to negotiate for the release of the remaining girls.

“Talks are ongoing through other means with the help of some foreign entities to free more schoolgirls,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said during an interview with BBC Hausa.

“These talks are going on with the help of some countries. You can recall the 21 schoolgirls were freed with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Swiss government officials who got involved in the negotiations. These two have not withdrawn their support in the negotiations,” Shehu said.

“There are also other countries that are lending support to the negotiations by being involved in the talks,” Shehu added.

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