Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

“Indescribable joy”: 82 schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by terror group Boko Haram are freed

boko haram release.jpg

More than 80 of the Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram three years ago have been freed in exchange for five of the terror group’s leaders.

The young women arrived in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Sunday and were met by their families and president Muhammadu Buhar, who said: “No human being should go through this kind of ordeal.”

Read more: Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

Shehu Sani, a Nigerian senator, confirmed that two of the girls had injuries, with one suffering a broken wrist and the other walking on crutches.

More than 50 of the 276 girls kidnapped from their school in 2014 girls managed to flee the group and last year, 21 were released. They are still living in Abuja, 500 miles away from their homes, as they receive counselling for their ordeals, The Guardian reports.

The release of another 82 young women over the weekend was hailed as a moment of “indescribable joy” by #BringBackOurGirls campaigner Oby Ezekwesili, the FT reports. But she says she will not rest until the remaining 113 captive girls are free.

The release of a relatively large number of girls raises the prospect that Boko Haram is weakening. 

Analyst Ryan Cummings told The Guardian the addition of five members is unlikely to bolster the group: “Boko Haram is massively decentralised and is more an umbrella movement than a monolithic movement. Commanders could have a localised impact in areas that they return to but it will have no wider impact.”

Last month, one victim of the group kidnapping told of how she twice escaped her captors. Patience Ibrahim, who was pregnant when she was taken and went on to give birth to a daughter, was the first kidnapped girl to testify about her mistreatment.

She recalls tales of rape, beatings and even cannibalism endured by her and her fellow prisoners in her new book, A Gift from Darkness. Read an extract here.

Images: Rex Features


joanna lumley.jpg

Joanna Lumley reveals kissing Leonardo DiCaprio was “no fun at all”

wonder woman (3).jpg

Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot: “People were very upset about my boobs”


Emma Watson makes history with gender-neutral award acceptance speech


The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017