Some of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram this past Spring may be coming home soon.
There haven’t been many updates about the progress being made in the seemingly forgotten #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Dodgy information from the Nigerian government certainly, but nothing substantial about how close officials are to finding and recovering the girls, though. Initially, about 300 girls were snatched up in the middle of the night from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, back in April; it was reported that 63 of the abductees escaped in July.
This weekend, a source from inside the government spoke with CNN, claiming that officials are working with the Committee of the Red Cross. It’s said that they may be closer than ever to striking a deal to get a few of the remaining girls home.
Boko Haram wouldn’t just hand the girls over out of the goodness of their heart. The tipster said that the Islamic extremist group will only return the girls in exchange for 30 Boko Haram commanders that are currently in the Nigerian government’s custody. The militants have even drafted a list of which soldiers they want back; it’s being reported that they insist their victims have not been sexually harmed.
“The two Boko Haram negotiators assured the ICRC and government negotiators that the girls were never raped, were never used as sex slaves and were never sexually assaulted,” the source said, adding that there has been some haggling about how many of the girls will be released. The tipster claims that the kidnappers will only release 30 girls—one for each of their soldiers that are returned. Nigerian officials don’t seem open to that, though. “They were only ready to release one to one, which the government was not going to accept.”
Boko Haram is apparently still willing to hash out the terms of an exchange as CNN reports that negotiators from the group will take the matter back to their leaders for another round of negotiation.