Girls will hopefully be released by Tuesday

Abuja – Nigeria aims to have secured the release
of 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist Boko Haram
militants by Tuesday, a senior source at the
presidency told Reuters on Saturday, although he
declined to comment on where the transfer would
take place.
“I can confirm that FG (the federal government) is
working hard to meet its own part of the
agreement so that the release of the abductees
can by effected either on Monday or latest
Tuesday next week,” the source told Reuters by
telephone.
The head of Nigeria’s military, Air Chief Marshal
Alex Badeh, announced on Friday that authorities
had reached a deal with Boko Haram for a
ceasefire that would enable the release of the
girls, who were kidnapped while taking exams in a
secondary school from the remote northeastern
town of Chibok in April.
Officials at the presidency and the military did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
Boko Haram, which conveys messages in
videotaped speeches by a man claiming to be its
leader, Abubakar Shekau, has also not yet
commented on the ceasefire.
Some Nigerians are likely to greet claims of a
ceasefire with scepticism after five years of
violence. Since the girls’ abduction, Nigeria’s
military has twice claimed to have rescued some
or all of the girls, only to back-track hours later.
Several rounds of negotiations with Boko Haram
have been attempted in recent years but they
have never achieved a peace deal, partly because
the group has several different factions.
The group, whose name translates roughly as
“Western education is sinful” has killed thousands
of people in its struggle to carve an Islamic state
out of religiously mixed Nigeria.

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