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ECOWAS statement on the release of 21 of the 276 abducted Chibok schoolgirls in Borno State, Nigeria
Abuja, 13 October 2016.

The ECOWAS Commission has received with delight the news of the release of 21 Chibok girls, hitherto in the custody of their abductors, the Boko Haram insurgents. The Commission wishes to recall that the 21 girls are said to be among the 276 girls that Boko Haram militants abducted in the middle of the night at a school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria on 14 April 2014.

ECOWAS Commission felicitates with the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, especially with the affected families and commends the efforts of the Nigerian military, the Multi-National Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) as well as the international partners, in the fight against insurgency   in the north east Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region. In this regard, the Commission also acknowledge the magnanimous role played by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government who brokered the deal with Boko Haram that led to the release of the 21 Chibok school girls.

The ECOWAS Commission, however, calls for sustained dialogue and negotiation for the release of other captives under the control of the Boko Haram and a halt to all violence, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law that are undermining peace and stability in the Lake Chad region.


His Excellency, Mr Marcel Alain de Souza

President of the Commission


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