News Brief

A Group of Missing Dapchi Schoolgirls Have Been Returned Home

According to the Nigerian government, 101 of the 110 who were abducted have been freed, though reports say that 5 may have died.

UPDATE 3/21:

A government aide has confirmed that 101 of the 110 girls originally taken have been brought home to Dapchi, reports BBC Africa.

In a conversation with a family member, one of the freed schoolgirls said that 5 of her classmates died on the day of the abduction after they were trampled in an overcrowded vehicle.

Continue for previous updates:

Over half of the Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Book Haram last month have been freed, reports the Nigerian government.

The Country's Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed confirmed the return of 76 out of the 110 girls following "back channel efforts' by the government. He said the exchange was "unconditional."

"The government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls," he added.


Families and witnesses on the ground in Dapchi say that the girls returned early Wednesday morning, and told them that Boko Haram dropped them about 12.5 miles (20 km) from the town, and instructed them to walk the rest of the way home, reports CNN.

Mohammed promised updates on the number of girls freed after an official count. However, his statement did not confirm other reports that up to 5 of the girls had died, and that one Christian girl may still be in captivity, reports BBC Africa.

While many are celebrating the return of the girls, some are doing so more cautiously than others.

Many Nigerians have continued to raise questions about the nature of the government's efforts, and its ability to prevent situations like these from happening again. Last week, several on social media criticized President Buhari for arriving on a red carpet when visiting the families of the schoolgirls.

Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

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