The release on Saturday of a further 82 of the so-called Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria has been welcomed by the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
UNICEF’s Representative in the country said agency staff were already supporting efforts to identify the released girls and give them medical check-ups.
Matthew Wells has more details.
The group of 276 girls were abducted three years ago by the extremist group, and before Saturday’s release, there were still around 195 being held.
The abductions triggered worldwide outrage and a viral social media campaign in support of their release � #BringBackOurGirls.
According to news reports, the 82 newly-released girls have arrived in the Nigerian capital to be greeted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
UNICEF Acting Representative Pernile Ironside, said it was heartening to know the girls would be returning to their families, but they would face a “long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered.”
She said UNICEF was on standby to support the Nigerian authorities to provide comprehensive psychosocial support and make sure their education continues in a “safe environment”.
UNICEF calls on Boko Haram to end all grave violations against children, she added, especially the sexual abuse and forced-marriage of girls.
“Greater efforts must be made to bring them all to safety” she added.
Source: United Nations Radio