Nigeria Swapped Chibok Girls With B’Haram Fighters ~ CNN reports
Labels: National News
The Cable Network News (CNN), yesterday, revealed the truth on the released of the 21 out of 200 Chibok Schoolgirls by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
|The released Chibok Schoolgirls|
After the release of the 21 out of 200 schoolgirls, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, said: “Please note that this is not a swap, but a release. The release was a product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides.”
But, the truth has been unveiled as CNN yesterday confirmed another online news portal, Per Second News (PSN) report that the release of the schoolgirls was a deal swap for money and Boko Haram detainees.
Contrary to Nigeria's claim, the Red Cross also stated that it “played neutral intermediary” in the release of the schoolgirls, also Federal Government’s insistence that the group and the Swiss Government mediated in the release of the girls.
But a source close to the negotiations between the sect and the Federal Government, said on condition of anonymity, which the CNN reported that: “A number of Boko Haram commanders”, were freed as part of Thursday’s release of the girls, Per Second News Thursday revealed that the negotiation that gave birth to the release of the girls was the same brokered last year July, when Boko Haram leaders offered to free more than 200 young women and girls kidnapped from the boarding school in the town of Chibok in exchange for the release of militant leaders held by the government.
A credible source who was part of the negotiation last year speaking under the condition of anonymity revealed that the only difference is the swap for money. He revealed that apart from exchange of detainees, money was also part of the new swap arrangement, according to the source who drafted the Swiss government into the discussion in 2015.
Negotiations last year failed when Boko Haram demanded a ransom of $5.2 billion for the girls’ freedom, according to a recently published authorised biography of President Muhammadu Buhari by American historian John Paden.
After about nine weeks of talks in 2014 a negotiator from Europe led the Jonathan government representatives to travel in September to a northeastern town where the prisoner exchange was to take place, only to be stymied by the Department for State Service intelligence agency.
At the last minute, the Department of State Services (DSS) said it was holding only four of the militants sought by Boko Haram. Meanwhile, the Red Cross in explaining its role in the release of the schoolgirls, said when the Federal Government and Boko Haram reached a deal, they contacted the Red Cross to come in, inspect, and receive the girls.
Spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa, Elodie Schindler, told PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday, in an exclusive interview, that: “The role we played was neutral intermediary.
We were not involved in the negotiation. “What we usually do is when two parties are negotiating, we don’t get involved. But when they have struck a deal, they can then call us in to mediate.”