Nigeria paid large ransom for Dapchi girls – UN

Contrary to position variously held by the Nigerian government, the United Nations has said that a splinter Boko Haram group that kidnapped the Dapchi girls in February was paid a “large ransom.” The girls were kidnapped from their school on February 18, while one of them, Leah Sharibu, is yet to be released for refusing to convert to Islam.
The Nigerian government said on March 21 that negotiations through a back-channel led to the release of the girls and a boy.
But a report published by the United Nations on Tuesday said the government lied.
“The girls were released around 3:00 am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country,” said Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed in March.
To free the girls, Mohammed said the only demand made by the insurgents was a temporary ceasefire.
United Nations insists “In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March, 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment,” the UN said on Page 13 of the 25-page document.
The UN noted that kidnapping for ransom and the prevalence of cash economy enabled the activities of terror groups such as Boko Haram and its splinter faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the group which kidnapped the Dapchi schoolgirls.
President Muhammadu Buhari was once reported to have told former American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson in Abuja that his government was going to explore negotiation instead of a military option to secure the release.
“We are trying to be careful.
It is better to get our daughters back alive,” Buhari said.

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