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ICC Note:  Boko Haram is reportedly offering to free more than 200 of the Chibok girls in exchange for the release of high-profile Boko Haram prisoners.  The Chibok girls were made famous in April 2014 through the global #BringBackOurGirls movement.  Many fear that many of the girls have experienced unbelievable hardships while under Boko Haram captivity, including rape, pressure to convert to Islam, indoctrination, beating, and many other terrible persecutions.  Boko Haram has surged in its attacks during Ramadan, and some analysts suggests the uptick represents their attempt to gain more bargaining leverage.

By Michelle Faul

7/8/15, Lagos, Nigeria (ABC News) – Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are offering to free more than 200 young women and girls kidnapped from a boarding school in the town of Chibok in exchange for the release of militant leaders held by the government, a human rights activist has told The Associated Press.

The activist said Boko Haram’s current offer is limited to the girls from the school in northeastern Nigeria whose mass abduction in April 2014 ignited worldwide outrage and a campaign to “Bring Back Our Girls” that stretched to the White House.

The new initiative reopens an offer made last year to the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to release the 219 students in exchange for 16 Boko Haram detainees, the activist said. The man, who was involved in negotiations with Boko Haram last year and is close to current negotiators, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters on this sensitive issue.

Fred Eno, an apolitical Nigerian who has been negotiating with Boko Haram for more than a year, told the AP that “another window of opportunity opened” in the last few days, though he could not discuss details.

He said the recent slew of Boko Haram bloodletting — some 350 people killed in the past nine days — is consistent with past ratcheting up of violence as the militants seek a stronger negotiating position.


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