Nigeria presidency releases names of freed Chibok girls

The list was published early Monday after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with the young women before announcing he was leaving for London immediately for medical checkups as fears over his health continue.

Five Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the freedom of 82 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group three years ago, a Nigerian government official said Sunday, as the girls were expected to meet with the country's president and their families.

Nigeria past year had announced that it has begun negotiations with Boko Haram to release the abducted girls.

The President made this known in Abuja on Sunday at a reception organised in honour of the rescued girls who were brought to Abuja after their release on Saturday.

About 21 girls who had been kidnapped in 2014 were released last October in a previous deal with the kidnappers brokered by Switzerland and the International Red Cross. Nigeria's government says another 83 girls would be released "very soon".

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhar has expressed joy at meeting the 82 girls, as he shared photos of them on social media.

The sources, however, said some of the girls were not willing to come back, on the grounds that they had gotten married to Boko Haram insurgents with some having children. A handful of other girls have either escaped or been rescued, but 113 still remained unaccounted for following Saturday's release.

"But the truth is that some of the girls are just not willing to come back; I don't know whether they really wanted to remain behind or they're under the influence of something".

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Some relatives did not live to see their daughters released.

As word of the latest release emerged, long-suffering family members said they were eagerly awaiting a list of names and "our hopes and expectations are high". Numerous captive girls, majority Christians, were forced to marry their captors and give birth to children in remote forest hideouts without ever knowing if they would see their parents again.

The girls were flown from the Borno state capital Maiduguri where they spent the night after their release from a town near the Cameroon border.

Officials also fear that some of the abducted girls were strapped with explosives and sent on terrorism missions as suicide bombers.

Boko Haram remains active in that area.

"These girls have been in captivity for three years and they've gone through very hard, challenging and horrendous experiences".

Though Boko Haram has abducted thousands of people during its eight-year insurgency that has spilled across Nigeria's borders, the Chibok mass kidnapping horrified the world and brought the extremist group global attention.

December 24, 2016: Nigeria's president declares that Boko Haram has been crushed, driven from its last forest hideout. Its insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes, with millions facing starvation.


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