After three years in captivity, 82 Chibok schoolgirls have finally been reunited with their families.
The girls, now aged 18-21, were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the middle of the night. The event sparked global outrage and the social media activist movement #BringBackOurGirls. Finally, the girls are back, and they’re getting the help and the care they need to move forward in their lives.
They’ve all received medical attention, and the women are all being enrolled in a program that will prepare them to return to school. According to the Nigerian government, most of the women appeared to be in good health – save one who had a broken arm and a leg injury. Currently, they’re being housed in a facility run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the outskirts of Abjuja, the Nigerian capital.
“We will continue to meet with the girls and monitor their health,” Jason Straziuso, spokesman for the ICRC for East Africa said. “Our concern for the girls’ well-being will continue in the coming months.”
Their release brings the count of freed prisoners to 106 schoolgirls. 113 women still remain in captivity. The Nigerian government has already begun discussing strategies to free them from the militants.
“There’s no price too high to pay,” Senetor Shehu Sani, part of the release negotiation effort said. The team working on freeing the remaining captive girls includes a Swiss intermediaries, Nigerian security forces, and a Nigerian mediator. They’re hoping that they’ll be able to free the remaining 113 girls by the end of this year.