Nigeria identifies 82 freed Chibok girls
Nigerian newspapers published the names Monday of 82 Chibok schoolgirls set free three years after being kidnapped by Islamic extremists, but they remained behind closed doors and their parents awaited word on whether they could see them.
It was unclear if many of the parents in the remote northeastern town of Chibok had seen the list of names or if any would travel the nearly 900 kilometres to the capital of Abuja to see their daughters who were abducted by the Boko Haram militant group.
The girls were flown to Abuja on Saturday after their release in exchange for five Boko Haram commanders, a government official said Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
Neither the government nor Boko Haram, which has links to the Islamic State group, gave details about the exchange. Photos distributed Sunday by the government showed the women in colorful T-shirts and wraps meeting Sunday with President Muhammadu Buhari before he announced he was leaving for London immediately for treatment of his own undisclosed illness.
On Monday, the young women met with Health Minister Isaac Folorunso Adewole.
Thousands of people have been killed and about 1.6 million driven from their homes in the eight-year insurgency by Boko Haram. But it was the mass kidnapping of 276 girls in April 2014 that horrified the world and brought the extremist group international attention.
Last year, a first group of 21 Chibok girls was freed in October, and they have been in government care for medical attention, trauma counselling and rehabilitation. Human rights groups have criticized the decision to keep them in custody in Abuja.
Following the weekend release, 113 Chibok schoolgirls remain missing.