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Responding to the announcement by Nigerian government that secured the release of 21 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Regional Advocacy Director, said:

“The release of 21 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls by the armed group Boko Haram is a big relief. However, it is vital now that they receive adequate physical and psychosocial counselling and support so that they can fully reintegrate in their communities. The government should also respect their privacy and ensure that the released girls are reunited with their families and not kept in lengthy detention and security screening which can only add to their suffering and plight.

Boko Haram members have executed and tortured thousands of civilians and raped and forced into marriage girls and women. They have been indoctrinated and even forced to fight for Boko Haram.

The Nigerian authorities must now do more to ensure the safe return of the thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys abducted by Boko Haram.”