Twenty-one of the schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, have been freed.
Garba Shehu, the spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari said that the release was “the outcome of negotiations between the administration and Islamist militants”. Four imprisoned militants were reportedly freed in exchange.
“The release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government. The negotiations will continue,” according to the statement issued by Garba.
Boko Haram seized more than 270 students from a school in Chibok, north-east Nigeria – an act that provoked international condemnation.
It sparked one of the biggest global social media campaigns, with tweeters using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
“I can only weep, right now. You know that kind of cry that is a mix of multiple emotions,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, has tweeted in response to the news.
Dr. Oby Ezekwesili also said 197 of the girls remain in captivity after today’s rescue of 21 of the kidnapped girls.