A prisoner exchange deal between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram is said to have succeeded as the terrorists have reportedly agreed to release the abducted girls
According to reports, Boko Haram has agreed to release the over 200 girls who were kidnapped from Chibok. The condition for this is the simultaneous release of 18 key members of the terrorist sect.
The initial arrangement was supposedly a plan to exchange the imprisoned Boko Haram members for only a few of the girls but this has reportedly been reviewed.
The talks were said to have been moderated by officials of the Red Cross and attended by representatives of both sides.
According to The Nation Newspaper, the sect threatened that any attempt to rescue the girls by force might lead to fatalities.
One of those who attended the talks reportedly said:
“The sect shifted its position and agreed to release all the girls instead of 30 Christian married girls it had promised. But Boko Haram said it does not trust the government going by previous experience.
“If the government had respected previous talks, the Chibok girls were initially meant to be off the hook during the Eid-el Fitr festival. Again about two weeks ago, a delegation was already in Maiduguri until the swap deal was bungled.
“By the new arrangement, ICRC will pick up the girls and simultaneously hand over the detained 18 leaders to Boko Haram.
“The government also said it would not free the detained leaders of Boko Haram until all the girls were released.
“After the Eid-el-Kabir festival, the two parties will meet again on the terms to finalise the agreement or part ways.
The Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped on April 14, 2014 leading to an international outcry for their rescue using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.