A Nigerian government official confirmed that five Boko Haram commanders were freed in exghange for 82 Chibok girls, who were abducted by the terrorist organization back in 2014.
The confirmation of the prisoners exchange came a day after the girls were freed. On Saturday, May 6, President Muhammadu Buhari said that some Boko Haram prisoners had been released for the freedom of the schoolgirls, but he did not give any details. The freed girls were flown to the capital Abuja on Sunday and were expected to meet the president.
The 82 freed girls are part of the 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in 2014 by Boko Haram terrorists. 21 of them were released last year in October but according to the officials about 113 schoolgirls are still missing. Girls who escaped said that some of their classmates died from illness, while other had been radicalized and didn’t want to return home.
Human rights representatives also shared their concern that some of the girls kidnapped from the Chibok boarding school were used by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings.
After the kidnapping the Nigerian authority failed to act adequately and bring the girls back home quickly. A global Bring Back Our Girls movement was created to advocate for the kidnapped girls.
Boko Haram became known as a terrorist group after this mass abduction and has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Now the terrorists carry out attacks in neighboring countries.
The freed young women were flown with military helicopters to the capital and are expected to undergo counseling and rehabilitation.
“They will face a long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Pernille Ironside, acting representative of UNICEF Nigeria.