Nige­ria iden­ti­fies 82 freed Chi­bok girls

Cape Breton Post - - World -

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.

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