Nigeria's kidnapped girls may be released early next week

After announcing a deal with Boko Haram, a source close to the Nigerian presidency told Reuters the kidnapped Chibok girls may be released Monday or Tuesday. Boko Haram has not yet commented on the ceasefire.

Nigeria aims to have secured the release of 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist Boko Haram militants by Tuesday, a senior source at the presidency told Reuters on Saturday, although he declined to comment on where the transfer would take place.

"I can confirm that FG (the federal government) is working hard to meet its own part of the agreement so that the release of the abductees can by effected either on Monday or latest Tuesday next week," the source told Reuters by telephone.

The head of Nigeria's military, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, announced on Friday that authorities had reached a deal with Boko Haram for a ceasefire that would enable the release of the girls, who were kidnapped while taking exams in a secondary school from the remote northeastern town of Chibok in April.

Officials at the presidency and the military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Boko Haram, which conveys messages in videotaped speeches by a man claiming to be its leader, Abubakar Shekau, has also not yet commented on the ceasefire.

Some Nigerians are likely to greet claims of a ceasefire with skepticism after five years of violence. Since the girls' abduction, Nigeria's military has twice claimed to have rescued some or all of the girls, only to back-track hours later.

Several rounds of negotiations with Boko Haram have been attempted in recent years but they have never achieved a peace deal, partly because the group has several different factions.

The group, whose name translates roughly as "Western education is sinful" has killed thousands of people in its struggle to carve an Islamic state out of religiously mixed Nigeria.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.