Twenty-one of the more than 276 girls kidnapped from a school in Chibok by Boko Haram fighters in 2014 have been released, according to Federal Government. The release followed negotiations with the Boko Haram brokered by Red Cross and Swiss government officials.
“It is confirmed that 21 of the missing Chibok girls have been released and are in the custody of the Department of State Services,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.
“The release of the girls … is an outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government,” Shehu said.
The identity of the girls has yet to be confirmed, said Aisha Yesufu, a Bring Back Our Girls campaigner.
“We cannot confirm anything yet,” Yesufu said.
Boko Haram seized 276 pupils from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the night of April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven managed to escape in the immediate aftermath of the abduction.
The kidnapping has become a hot political issue in Nigeria, with the government and military criticised for their handling of the incident and their failure to rescue any of the girls.
About 2,000 girls and boys have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014, with many used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organisation.