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Issue #1661      October 22, 2014

Chibok schoolgirls could soon be released

A ceasefire between Islamist terror group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government has been announced, raising hopes than over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group could soon be released.

Talks were apparently held in neighbouring Chad on the fate of the girls, who were described by Boko Haram as “in good condition and unharmed.”

The organisation’s leader Abubakar Shekau is said to have threatened to sell them as “slave brides”, although Nigerian authorities claim the man making the threat was not actually Mr Shekau, who they say was killed several years ago.

Simultaneous negotiations on a ceasefire have been taking place in Saudi Arabia and were attended by President of Chad Idriss Deby and Cameroonian representatives.

Boko Haram, which fights for an Islamist state in northern Nigeria and is notorious for suicide-bombing Christian areas, has been seeking the release of captured fighters in return for that of the girls.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s principal secretary Hassan Tukur claimed the release of the girls had now been agreed, although he did not specify what concessions the government had had to make.

And chief of defence staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh issued an order that the army was to “immediately comply” with the ceasefire and stop attacking Boko Haram targets.

Morning Star

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