Nigeria has brokered a deal with Boko Haram to release the approximately 200 schoolgirls held captive by the terror group since last April.
The agreement, announced by the country’s defense minister, also involves a cease fire between Boko Haram and Nigeria’s military.
“I wish to inform this audience that a ceasefire agreement has been concluded,” Marshal Alex Badeh said in a statement after three days of talks with the group that has terrorized local communities and put a strain on the oil industry in the coutnry.
The agreement also requires the return of the schoolgirls whose disappearance sparked an international outcry on social media. The large group of children who were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok near the Cameroon border in April.
The government believes that the group is ready for the ceasefire and doesn’t expect them to back out of the agreement.
Boko Haram, whose name basically means “Western education is sinful”, has killed thousands of people in a five-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state in the vast scrubland of Nigeria’s impoverished northeast.
Ify Eleuze, who started the petition on Change.org that was signed by over a million people from all over the world, updated it this afternoon with the news and her reaction:
Let’s keep our hopes up to celebrate our greatest victory when these young women are finally back in the arms of their parents. For months we were able to keep attention and empathy alive for the girls and their families with this petition. None of this would have been possible had millions of people like you not spoken out to demand that the Nigerian government and governments around the world do everything possible to bring the girls home.
My thoughts are with the girls and their families as they wait to be reunited. I cannot wait to be able to say #WeBroughtBackOurGirls.
I agree wholeheartedly, and wait anxiously for news about their return.
[Image Credit: Time.com]