Freed Nigerian schoolgirls meeting families after 3 years

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2017

The official reunion in Abuja on Saturday was the first time family members had seen their daughters since they were abducted from a secondary school in the remote north eastern town of Chibok in 2014. One small group sank to their knees, with a woman raising her hands as if praising in church.

In a related development, Channels TV reports that the 21 Chibok girls who were released by Boko Haram in October 2016 have reunited with the 82 of their colleagues that regained their freedom two weeks ago.

Jihadists from the group aligned with Daesh abducted the girls from their school and held majority captive for more than three years.

"Our joy is never complete until we see the complete 113, because one Chibok girl matters to all Chibok people", said a parent of one of the freed schoolgirls, Yahi Bwata. Some have become Boko Haram followers and have refused to return.

Over 100 of the Chibok girls who were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 are still in captivity. It is feared some of the captured girls may have been used in suicide bombings. Thousands have been kidnapped during the extremists' eight-year insurgency, and more than 20,000 have been killed.

The kidnapping of the almost 300 schoolgirls drew global attention to the issue and sparked the Bring Back Our Girls campaign to pressure the Nigerian government to rescue them. Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped negotiate their release.

The girl was found by government troops while she was escaping, Femi Adesina said, without giving details.

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