Nigeria government further negotiates with Boko Haram to free Chibok girls
Mr Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday evening during interaction with journalists
And activists at the state house in Abuja. The Vice President said “negotiations
Are ongoing for the release of more Chibok schoolgirls who are still in the custody
Of Boko Haram terrorists. He also expressed optimism that the dialogue would
yield the desired result in due course.
He said the government has “gone quite far” with negotiations to free more girls,
but did not provide details of the negotiations for apparent security reasons.
The vice president hinted that one of the challenges of freeing the girls was the
existence of two factions in Boko-Haram, with each faction holding on to some
of the girls. “There is a lot of negotiation going on,” he said.
One of the factions is led by Abubakar Shekau, the erstwhile leader of the group,
while a breakaway faction is led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, believed to be a son
of the late founder of the group, Mohammed Yusuf.
Mr. Osinbajo, however said the Buhari administration was very committed to the
release of the remaining Chibok girls and other captives held by the Boko Haram.
“It is a matter of conscience and it’s a matter that concerns everyone,” he said.
He went further and state that Boko Haram had seized 276 pupils from the
Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the night of April 14, 2014.
About 57 of the girls managed to escape in the immediate aftermath of the abduction.
Negotiations between the federal government and Boko Haram had led to the release
of 21 of the girls while another three were freed by soldiers. Dozens of others had
escaped on their own.
Despite losing most of the territory they controlled at some point, including the dreaded
Sambisa forest to Nigerian troops, the insurgents have kept hold of an estimated 195 girls,
with some of them already feared dead.
About 2,000 teenagers have been reportedly abducted by Boko Haram since 2014, with
many of the women used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to
Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, said that at least 27 teenage girls
have been used as suicide bombers in Borno within the first quarter of 2017.
There is no evidence that any of the Chibok girls is among the suicide bombers