Boko Haram militants have released 21 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls to the Nigerian government, according to reports.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered the deal, which may have involved the trade of four captured militant leaders in exchange for the girls, Nigerian sources stated.
The girls, who have not yet been identified, are a portion of over 270 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their beds at a Chibok school in April 2014, which prompted the creation of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls that went viral on social media.
One hundred ninety-seven girls still remain captive, although it is unknown how many of the students are still alive.
“The release of the girls … is the outcome of negotiations between the (Nigerian) administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government,” Mallam Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhar, stated via Twitter. “The negotiations will continue.”
The girls are currently in the custody of the country’s Department of State Services, which is a Nigerian domestic intelligence agency.
Boko Haram has opposed Western Education in Nigeria, and attempted to impose Sharia law throughout the country, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.