Release of Chibok girls: Couetesy of Dailypost.ng
#BokoHaram, #Chibok, #Nigeria, #Africa, #MausiSegun, #GarShehu, #OsaiOjigho, #MuhammaduBuhari, #International Committee of the Red Cross
Toronto, May 11 (Canadian-Media): 82 Chibok girls, out of 83, kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 which shocked the world, gathered Monday in Abuja, Nigeria after being recently freed from captivity, media reports said.
One who was kidnapped in 2014 chose to stay with her husband, said Garba Shehu, Nigerian president's spokesman, CBCNews release said.
"It is not at all surprising," Mausi Segun, a senior Nigerian researcher with Human Rights Watch, told CBC News.
" People in long-term captivity, as these girls, will develop some sympathy for their captors — Stockholm Syndrome."
After witnessing constant deaths, deliberate killings and their exposure to Boko Haram's Islamic ideology, these young women had been confused about issues of faith, said Segun.
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls, mostly aged between 16 and 18.
Since then, 57 have escaped, three were found over the course of the last year, 21 released last October and 82 released on Saturday. That leaves 113 missing.
Nigerians had been questioning the government’s procedure in handling the released hostages.
Instead of being united with their families, the girls released in October, reportedly had been kept in government-run facilities in the capital Abuja, to get lessons and counselling to fascilitate their getting back to normal life.
Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International's Nigeria director had issued a call to the government to and shorten the security screening of these young women and respect their privacy mitigate their sufferings and their speedy union with their families.
A global Twitter hashtag #bringbackourgirls generated by the capitivity of the Chibok schoolgirls spread the horrors of the Nigerian conflict, which began in 2009 and has killed at least 20,000.
Thousands of women and young girls like these have suffered a similar fate, forced to become Boko Haram wives, raped, trained to fight or become suicide bombers.
"They are probably different people, due to their experiences, than the young women preparing for their exams in 2014," says Elizabeth Pearson, a Boko Haram specialist who studies woman and conflict.
It is reportedly unknown why at least one schoolgirl agreed to become Boko Haram’s wife.
The actual handover of these released 82 girls took place in a forest near the Cameroon border.
It was reported that these girls were released in exchange for an undisclosed number of Chadian prisoners, believed to be senior Boko Haram commanders.
Campaigners observed a minute of silence for the remaining hostages during a daily meeting in Abuja on Tuesday. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls, mostly between 16 and 18, and 113 are still missing.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the release but the group released last October had been kept in Abuja, in a government-run centre where they are attending lessons and having counselling.
Some parents were upset when at Christmas the girls were allowed to meet their families in Chibok in a local politician's house, before being returned to Abuja.
The release or discovery of 106 girls was a major political triumph for government of Muhammadu Buhari, who had been elected president in 2015 on a promise to end the Boko Haram riots.
But Buhari, 74, was in ill health and being treated in London and it was uncertain if he would recover fully to lead.
But release of the remaining Chibok girls was being processed, said experts.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)