In a statement by the High Representative/Vice- President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development Neven Mimica and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, the European Union (EU) expressed joy at the release of 21 girls abducted by the insurgent group, Boko Haram. The girls were released after over two years in captivity to the Nigerian government on Thursday.
‘‘Amongst all the troubles in the world today we celebrate. It is time to give these girls hope, life, a future. We wish for the safe return of the girls to their families and their full reintegration into society.
‘‘Yet we cannot forget all the others who remain abducted with their families and those who have suffered from the violence of Boko Haram,’‘ an EU statement read.
The European Union has stressed the need to bring the perpetrators of this terrible act to justice, while also congratulating the government of Nigeria, the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), and Switzerland on the successful negotiations
They reconfirmed their readiness to assist in the fight against Boko Haram and in the humanitarian, development and reconstruction efforts as continuous violence has displaced millions of people in North Eastern Nigeria and other parts of the Lake Chad region.
Sadly, till date, some 197 girls remain in Boko Haram captivity after they were abducted from a boarding school in the town of Chibok. One of the rescued girls was believed to have a 20 months old baby with her.
The government has also quelled news going round that four Boko Haram commanders were swapped for the girls. The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) activists have been celebrating the latest release of the girls.
The EU provides humanitarian assistance to this vulnerable group, especially children, in the form of child protection, nutrition, psycho-social support, support to unaccompanied children and re-unification.