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AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga
World News

Fresh talks to free more Christian Chibok girls

The extremist group is in negotiations with the country's government after 21 of the young pupils were released following discussions last week.

Family members (pictured above and below) of the kidnapped Chibok girls set out on Tuesday to meet the Nigerian minister of women affairs in the capital, Abuja.

The news comes amid a warning from the Chibok Development Association that more than 100 of the girls seem unwilling to return home, possibly because they have been radicalised or feel ashamed having married members of Boko Haram and have babies.

AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga

Speaking about the treatment of freed victims in their home communities, the association's chairperson Pogu Bitrus, said: "Even someone believed to have been abused by Boko Haram would be seen in a bad light."

"We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatisation is going to affect them for the rest of their lives."

Some 276 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram (leader, Adubakar Shekau, pictured) from a school in the north-eastern town of Chibok two and a half years ago, however, dozens escaped early on and it is alleged six have died in captivity.


At least 20 are now being educated in the US.

It is understood the girls freed through negotiations last week are being cared for by doctors, psychologists and counsellors at a hospital in Abuja operated by Nigeria's secret service, the Department of State Security.

Mr Bitrus says the girls claim they were separated into two groups during their captivity when Boko Haram leaders told them to choose between joining the cause and embracing Islam, or becoming slaves.

AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga

He went on to say the freed girls and those whose release is under discussion, 104 in total, are thought to be in the group which rejected Islam and Boko Haram.

The girls who were released also reportedly said they never saw the other girls again, while Mr Bitrus said the freed girls acted as domestic workers.

Meanwhile the government of Nigeria has denied reports the girls were swapped for four Boko Haram commanders or a significant ransom was handed over.

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