Nigeria Chibok girls: 82 released after three years


The wife of the president expressed gratitude to relevant agencies involved in the release of the girls.

"Government is preparing the girls to go back to school in September this year because they have lost so much academically", said presidency spokesman Garba Shehu. "I'm happy where I am". "I have found a husband'".

Zannah Mustapha, a Nigerian barrister who led the negotiations, told Newsweek that negotiations were ongoing and that the government was seeking to establish a complete "cessation of hostilities" with Boko Haram, which has been beaten back by Nigerian and regional military offensives in recent years.

"We also urge the Federal Government to quickly liaise with parents of our Chibok girls and the Kibaku Area Development Association i.e. the Chibok community as was done in the four previous times our girls returned".

Psychologist Somiari Demm, who counseled former Boko Haram captives sponsored to go to the United States to study, said the girls' families must play a big part in their healing.

It is unclear how many Boko Haram prisoners were released in exchange for the girls. He promised to continue to work for the release of the remaining girls.

Though it is uncertain how many have been kidnapped, Amnesty International has documented at least 41 cases of mass abductions by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014.

"We ask the #Chibokgirls - 'who do you want to visit you from home?' We invite whoever they tell us they want to see".

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In speaking to the girls the first lady said their education is of great importance. Thousands have been kidnapped or killed in the group's eight-year insurgency, with millions driven from their homes. reports that the insurgents abducted 276 girls in April 2014 at their school in Chibok, Borno State.

Discussions to free the remaining 113 girls should begin at the end of the week. Human rights groups have criticized the decision to keep them in custody in Abuja.

I certainly do not believe the issue of the Chibok girls is a hoax.

Lawyer Zannah Mustapha, mediator for Chibok girls, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 8, 2017.

"The Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders must ensure that the services these girls need, including psycho-social and other health services and information on livelihood opportunities, as well as access to remedies, are available" they noted. "We hope these girls will be soon reunited with their loved ones".

"We provide a range of assistance to Nigerian authorities in their efforts to combat Boko Haram and ISIS in West Africa".