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


20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017