Boko Haram's Promise to Release Kidnapped Girls
The Nigerian government says it's "cautiously optimistic" about a new ceasefire agreement.
Nigerian officials claim that the terrorist group Boko Haram has come to an agreement to release of over 200 kidnapped school girls. The news comes almost six months to the day since the schoolgirls were abducted from Chibok, Nigeria, leading to international outcry and the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.
Alex Badeh, the military chief of defense, told BBC News that the agreement comes as part of a larger truce. Nigeria's military has been battling with Boko Haram since 2009 and the group was declared a terrorist organization by the United States in 2013.
It is believed the the hostages are being held on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon in the Sambisa forest. Officials from the bordering nations held a security meeting over the course of three days and revealed the truce on the final day, however, the truce took about a month to fully negotiate. Government officials met with Boko Haram members twice during that time before they were able to reach a "unilateral ceasefire" and receive the approval of Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram's leader.
A third meeting is scheduled between the terrorists and government officials in Ndjamena, Chad, to discuss details of the hostage release. Boko Haram has not confirmed the ceasefire agreement, but Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur has said he is "cautiously optimistic."