Boko Haram Demands Release of Imprisoned Militants in Exchange for Kidnapped Girls
May 12, 2014 | News
Boko Haram Demands Release of Imprisoned Militants in Exchange for Kidnapped Girls

Boko Haram, the terrorist group that abducted more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory last month, has released a video saying the girls will be freed only if imprisoned militants are released.


The Nigerian information ministry released a statement saying the government would "continue to explore all options for the release and safe return of our girls," but officials later told the BBC that the government would not agree to any kind of exchange.

"As far as this government is concerned, the option of [the] swap of innocent citizens with people who have taken arms against the country... is not on the table," he said.

The video, released earlier this week, showed 136 girls seated with the militants - who explained that they had all converted to Islam.


On April 14, scores of Nigerian female students were abducted from their school just after taking exams. Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group whose name translates to “western education is forbidden” and who is tied to Al Qaeda, is thought to be behind the kidnappings although they have not claimed responsibility. The school that was attacked was the only one still open in the region; the others were all closed due to the general state of emergency in northeastern Nigeria.

A small number of the girls have managed to escape and make their way home but very little reliable information is available about where their classmates are now, and what condition they are in. At one point, Nigerian military claimed to have found and freed the girls, but this claim was almost immediately proven wrong. Rumors persist about the fate of the girls and recent news reports indicate that some may have already been sold into marriage to affiliates of their abductors.

Armed groups of concerned parents have made several unsuccessful attempts to track and rescue their daughters, but even these efforts are diminishing amid rumors that the Boko Haram terrorists have threatened to kill the girls if the searches aren't called off.

To the dismay of not only the Nigerian people but people around the globe, the Nigerian government has been all but silent on the abduction.

More information is available from:

BBC News Africa
Smithsonian Magazine
The New Yorker