Abuja — THE International Committee of the Red Cross has facilitated the release of ten policewomen and three university lecturers after negotiations with the Boko Haram terror group in Nigeria.
This breakthrough has raised hopes that more than 200 schoolgirls the Islamic militant group abducted northeast of the country in 2014 would be released.
Among the released are the lecturers kidnapped from the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) in Magumeri in the northeastern Borno State.
The policewomen had been kidnapped in a raid by the militant group on a military and police convoy on a highway in Maiduguri.
The abductions were carried out last year, prompting President Muhammadu Buhari to direct negotiations for their release.
According to a briefing the Department of State Services (DSS) gave Buhari, all 13 rescued persons are in the safety of the service and were to be transported to the capital Abuja with the assistance of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force.
A team of doctors and psychologists had been placed on standby to assess them.
"The rescued persons may be presented to the president and thereafter released to their families, if there are no issues of security or medical concerns," said Garba Sheu, presidential spokesman.
"The President, who got step by step progress reports on the lengthy negotiations while they took place, received the good news with a lot of happiness."
Buhari has since urged the DSS and the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts to bring home the remaining pupils abducted in the Chibok girls school, who are believed to be still in the custody of the terrorists.
Some 276 girls were kidnapped.
In 2016, Boko Haram freed 21 of the schoolgirls after negotiations between the group and the Nigerian government.
The Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered the negotiations. - CAJ News
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