ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The long wait is over for a number of families in Nigeria.
Joy, jubilation and dancing erupted Sunday when a group of parents were reunited with 21 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 2 ½ years ago and freed in the first negotiated release organized by the government and the Islamic extremist group.
The girls were hugged and embraced by their parents when they were presented by the government, according to video obtained by The Associated Press.
The girls were released Thursday and flown to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, but it’s taken days for the parents to arrive. Most arrived Sunday after driving hours over potholed roads slowed by military checkpoints and the danger of attack by the insurgents.
The parents came from the remote northeastern town of Chibok, where nearly 300 girls were kidnapped on April 2014 in a mass abduction that shocked the world. Dozens of schoolgirls escaped in the first few hours but after last week’s release, 197 remain captive. The government says negotiations are continuing to win their freedom.