Girls Exchanged for Four Boko Haram Prisoners
10/13/2016 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern): International Christian Concern (ICC) has confirmed that 21 of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls have been released by Boko Haram.
After more than two years since the kidnappings, the Nigerian government, with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government, has negotiated for the release of at least 21 girls. The girls have reportedly been handed over to the Nigerian government in exchange for four Boko Haram prisoners.
ICC’s correspondent in Nigeria spoke to the Secretary of the Parents’ Forum, Lawan Zanah, who confirmed the reports. “It is true, they are our girls! We have now gotten a call from the Minister of Women Affairs to come to Abuja. We are getting ready to go tomorrow, the Chairman, myself and a few of the officials.”
A government official speaking on the condition of anonymity released five of the names to the parents on the phone. Maina, one of the parents, said, “The Military spokesman in Maiduguri, has announced it. The girls were moved from Maiduguri to Abuja.
In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. Within days following the tragedy, 57 girls escaped, but 218 remained in captivity until today’s release of 21 more today and a Nigerian vigilante group found and rescued Amina Ali Nkeki on May 17 of this year.
Sara Solomon, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We have worked closely with the Chibok families over the years and have come to know the community. We are excited for the families whose daughters have been returned, but also know what a difficult journey awaits them. Some left as girls and return as traumatized women and even mothers. Still, there also remains the daunting task of rescuing the 196 girls who are still in captivity. Efforts must continue to rescue and rebuild the lives of all of these innocent victims.”