The Nigerian government and Boko Haram representatives may be close to negotiating a deal to free the 219 schoolgirls abducted in April.
Yahoo News reports the government and the militant Islamist group that abducted the girls have held secret talks to negotiate a deal involving the release of the girls in exchange for 18 Boko Haram commanders held in prison.
The talks were reportedly sponsored by humanitarian organisation the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Previously, Mamamia wrote…
A new video which claims to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, has been released by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that abducted them.
The video alleges the teenage girls, who were kidnapped last month from their schoolhouse in north-eastern Nigeria, have been converted to Islam and will not be released until all Boko Haram members held by the Nigerian government are freed, Agent France-Presse (AFP) reports.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaks for 17 minutes in the video, which was obtained by AFP today, before showing what he says are about 130 of the girls.
The girls are wearing full-length hijabs. Pictured in an undisclosed rural location, they appear to be praying. Three of the girls in are interviewed in the recording; two say they were Christian and had converted while one said she was Muslim.
The girls appeared calm and one said that they had not been harmed.
The chilling video is not the first to have been released by the radical Islamist group since the mass abduction in the early hours of 14 April. Last week, Boko Haram released another in which its leader, Abubakar Shekau, boastingly took credit for the abduction and announced that he planned to treat the girls like “slaves”.
In the video, also obtained by the AFP, he said:
“I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off. There is a market for selling humans… I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine…
Women are slaves. I want to reassure my Muslim brothers that Allah says slaves are permitted in Islam.”
Several major world powers including the US, the UK, France and China have joined the search for the missing girls, while the Nigerian police last week offered a 50 million naira ($324,600) reward for information leading to the girls’ rescue.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden” in the local Hausa language, wants to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Nigeria.
The group, which was declared a terrorist group by the US in 2013, killed 1,500 in the first three months of 2014 alone compared with an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.
Mass protests urging world leaders to #BringBackOurGirls have taken place across the world, from Los Angeles to London. Here are some images from the online and real-life protests: