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21 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped and released by Boko Haram were reunited with their families

By Stephanie Busari, CNN

The 21 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped and released by terrorist group Boko Haram were reunited with their families amid tearful scenes on Sunday.

At a ceremony in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, parents were overcome with emotion as they laid eyes on their missing daughters for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

They clutched their daughters, some in disbelief, as tears streamed down their faces. One mother even strapped her daughter onto her back and carried her like a baby.

Negotiations will continue Monday to free the remaining girls, but sources tell CNN that only 83 out of the 197 left are being negotiated for.

Reunion too late for some

Goni Mutah, whose daughter Asabe was kidnapped along with 276 others from her school in April 2014, told CNN he was “very happy” to see his daughter, now 22.

However his happiness was bittersweet, he said, as his niece Margaret was also kidnapped on that fateful day — one of the 197 girls still missing.

Mutah added that Margaret’s mother, his elder sister, died last year after developing a high blood pressure and becoming stressed following her daughter’s kidnapping.

At least 14 of the parents of the missing girls have died since their kidnapping. One of them was shot dead by Boko Haram militants in a raid on his village in September.

Mutah said: “I was very happy to see my daughter but I’m also praying for the other daughter to be released. I asked Asabe about her sister and if she was alive.

“I asked her five times to be sure. I wanted to know the truth if she’s alive or if she’s been married off to Boko Haram. But she told me she’s alive. I’m praying she will come back soon.”


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