#BringBackOurGirls: Boko Haram set ‘to begin gradual release of kidnapped schoolgirls’

by Zara Mustapha

Bring Back our Girls protest in Abuja on Wednesday 30 April 2014

According to UK Telegraph, the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram has dropped demands for the release of their top commanders and is prepared to start releasing up to half of the schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno state in April.

Reports say the Islamic sect is willing to conduct a  “gradual” release of the hostages kidnapped from their dormitories at the Federal Government Girls College, Chibok in return for the release of their comrades detained in federal government in prisons.

It was also gathered the sect has dropped their demands for the release of their top commanders as they are aware that it would be politically impossible for the federal government.

According to the Telegraph, efforts are being made behind the scenes to secure the release of the students with an agreement reached in principle to release some of the hostages gradually.

“Contrary to the public rejection of any swap deal by the Nigerian government, there are some on-the-ground talks taking place. An agreement was reached about two or three days ago in principle to start releasing some prisoners,” a sources was quoted explaining the current status of negotiations.

If the release of low level Boko Haram prisoners is agreed to by the government, unconfirmed reports say that the sect is prepared to release the girls gradually in locations where they can be picked up by the authorities.

“Depending on how the other side responds, the girls will be released in small groups. They will be left at a certain safe location, and the authorities will then be told as to where they can pick them up from.”

There has been no official confirmation of these talks by the Federal Government neither has there been any from the Military Headquarters.

On Saturday, Nigeria and some neighbouring countries including Cameroon, Benin, Chad, and Niger met in Paris, France and declared an all “war” on Boko Haram after meeting with French president, François Hollande.

Hollande pledged his country’s support for the fight against Boko Haram stating that Boko Haram has an established link with Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

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