It has been about five months since over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria, by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. It has been assumed that many of the girls were to be sold off as "wives," but apparently Boko Haram is in talks with Nigerian government officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross, negotiating the release of more than 200 school girls.
A source involved in the negotiations claims that officials met with senior members of Boko Haram in mid-August over a deal that would exchange 30 school girls for 30 commanders of the extremist group who were either convicted or awaiting trial. The government refused, though it's unclear if they want to release more girls or less Boko Haram prisoners. Either way, Boko Haram are insisting that the girls are unharmed, according to CNN:
"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," said the source, who attended the discussions.
It would be good news to hear if it's true. I personally feel that that is unrealistic that none of the girls were sold, as it's probably expensive and inefficient to travel around hiding and feeding hundreds of school girls. Also, the ICRC has declined to comment on the matter, which could mean a number of things. But of course, at the end of the day, more than anything, we all would just like to see the safe return of these girls.
Image via Getty.