Reports confirm that the International Committee of the Red Cross is involved in sit-down meetings between the Nigerian government and a senior Boko Haram commander to negotiate a prisoner swap for the 219 Chibok girls reportedly still in captivity. On the night of April 14th, Boko Haram militants mass-abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from the government girls secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, garnering brief international attention and public outcry. But, in the months since, public pressure for the girls’ location, release and safe return has waned considerably, opening the doors for secret negotiations between the Nigerian state and the radical Islamic insurgency to try to come to terms. According to the Telegraph, militants have proposed the release of 16 senior Boko Haram commanders in exchange for the girls’ freedom.
09/18/2014 Nigeria (Telegraph) – The International Committee of the Red Cross has become involved in a secret prisoner swap deal to secure the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the Telegraph has learned.
Officials from the Geneva-based organisation have sat in on talks between the Nigerian government and a senior Boko Haram leader currently held in one of the country’s maximum security prisons.
The Red Cross officials have also visited a number of other jails, identifying a list of 16 senior commanders that Boko Haram wants freed in exchange for its hostages.
The group is thought to be holding more than 220 schoolgirls captive, having kidnapped them from the north-east town of Chibok in mid-April.