SURVIVORS

21 Chibok Schoolgirls Held by Boko Haram Reunited With Families

Twenty-one of Nigeria’s abducted Chibok schoolgirls were reunited with their families Sunday at a ceremony in which they spoke of their more than two-year ordeal in captivity with Boko Haram militants. The Abuja ceremony was arranged by Nigeria’s security services, which organized their release from captivity last week. Many of the girls spoke of being starved while being held by the Islamist group. “We had no food for one month and 10 days but we did not die. We thank God,” one schoolgirl, named Gloria Dame, said in comments carried by AFP. The girls, most of them Christian, were abducted by Boko Haram in August 2014, and many were forced to convert to Islam. A total of 276 girls were taken hostage in a case that shocked the world and drew international attention to the terror group. Emotions were high as the girls were reunited with their families at the ceremony, with many openly crying as they hugged relatives they had not seen in years. Nigerian Information Minister Lai Mohamed said talks were continuing to release more schoolgirls, with Boko Haram claiming it has 83 more to release, depending on negotiations. “Very soon, another batch, bigger than this would be released,” Mohamed said.