Breaking News
March 22, 2017 - EXCLUSIVE: 'Little Women: LA' Star Terra Jolé Opens Up About Cancer Scare: 'It's Definitely a Hard Thing'
March 22, 2017 - Mass Effect: Andromeda has performance issues on both Xbox One and the base PS4
March 22, 2017 - Atari 8-bit fans: this is your next read
March 22, 2017 - TFC signs veteran defender Jason Hernandez
March 22, 2017 - Jennifer Lopez on Finding 'Meaty' Roles for Latina Actresses 20 Years After 'Selena': 'It's Still a Struggle'
March 22, 2017 - PSA: Starting a new game in Breath of the Wild will permanently delete your saves if you don’t switch accounts first
March 22, 2017 - EXCLUSIVE: Lady Gaga's Ex Taylor Kinney on Dating After Split: 'I Don't Think I Have a Type'
March 22, 2017 - Stephen Hawking calls for creation of world government to meet AI challenges
March 22, 2017 - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Are Releasing a Joint Album!
March 22, 2017 - 'I really think people will die': Americans fear losing health care under Trump's plan
March 22, 2017 - Stanford researchers accidentally discover a whole new role for the cerebellum
March 22, 2017 - North Korea conducts another missile test, reportedly unsuccessful
March 22, 2017 - Tardigrades survive extreme dehydration by turning into glass
March 22, 2017 - Bettman on Olympics: 'Assume we are not going'
March 22, 2017 - Donald Trump to attend NATO summit in Europe
March 22, 2017 - Prostate cancer patients report that surgery offers worst outcome on quality of life
January 20, 2017 - Chief asks: Could courts force Canada to spend more on First Nations suicide prevention?
January 20, 2017 - Sony’s silence on PlayStation VR could spell trouble for the fledgling market
January 20, 2017 - Kourtney Kardashian Posts Selfie With Deep Lyric by The Weeknd in Caption: 'Tell Me How to Love'
January 20, 2017 - Max Parrot leads Canadian slopestyle sweep in Laax
Girls freed from Boko Haram not allowed to spend Christmas at home with their families

Girls freed from Boko Haram not allowed to spend Christmas at home with their families

Kidnapped girls freed from more than two years of captivity by Boko Haram Islamic extremists were prevented by Nigerian officials from spending Christmas at home with their families, said relatives and a lawyer on Tuesday.

The news raised questions about Nigeria’s handling of the 21 girls freed in October through negotiation mediated by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Nearly 300 girls taking science exams were kidnapped from a government boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok April 2014. Dozens escaped within hours, and some 200 others remain captive. The mass abduction brought Boko Haram world attention and sparked an international social media movement to #BringBackOurGirls.

Those freed in October have been held for trauma counselling and rehabilitation in Abuja, the capital.

Kept at legislator’s house

They demanded to spend Christmas in their hometown, which is a Christian enclave in a mainly Muslim area. The government tried to appease them, saying it would fly their parents to Abuja, human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe said.

He said the girls insisted on being at home and arrived in Chibok on Christmas Eve, but were held at a legislator’s house.

Christmas Day passed, but they were not allowed to see their parents until Borno state Gov. Kashim Shettima showed up on Monday with cameras to have his photograph taken officially presenting the girls to their parents, Ogebe said.

“In terms of a Christmas family reunion, this has got to rank amongst the world’s most spectacular failed parties,” Ogebe told The Associated Press by phone from his base in Washington. “The Grinch — or in this case, the government — stole their Christmas this time. Not the terrorists.”

‘The Grinch — or in this case, the government — stole their Christmas this time. Not the terrorists.’ – Emmanuel Ogebe, human rights lawyer

The mother of one girl and the father of another told the AP that the girls wanted to attend Christmas service at their church but were told they had to remain at the legislator’s house for their security. The relatives spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing repercussions from the government for them and their daughters.

The Bring Back Our Girls movement, Human Rights Watch and lawyers like Ogebe, who has organized scholarships in the United States for some of the girls who escaped the night of the abduction, are asking if the traumatized girls have escaped one form of captivity for another.

Thousands rescued, then detained 

Nigeria’s army has freed thousands of people from captivity by Boko Haram this year as it has driven the extremists out of towns and villages where they had declared an Islamic caliphate. Most have been detained for interrogation in appalling conditions that have resulted in the deaths of newly freed hostages and their babies, Amnesty International has reported.

NIGERIA-SECURITY/GIRLS

The #BringBackOurGirls campaign garnered international support. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

President Muhammadu Buhari this week declared that Boko Haram had finally been “crushed,” driven out of their last stronghold in the northeastern Sambisa Forest where they were believed to be holding many Chibok girls. The government said this week that negotiations to free the rest of the girls continue.

The military victory in Sambisa, which could not be independently verified, is unlikely to end the deadly suicide bombings and attacks on remote villages and army camps staged by the insurgents.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Related Articles