Boko Haram and Nigeria have reached a ceasefire agreement six months after the terror group kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls, prompting global outrage.

Ceasefire With Boko Haram: Release Of Schoolgirls?

The agreement, which reportedly includes the release of over 200 girls, was reached Thursday night, just days after the six-month anniversary of when the girls were taken from their school in Nigeria.

“We have agreed on the release of the Chibok schoolgirls, and we expect to conclude on that at our next meeting with the group’s representative next week in Chad,” said Hassan Tukur, principal secretary to the Nigerian President.

While an agreement has been reached, Tukur did not specify when or how the girls would be released. Government spokesperson Doyin Okupe said that the girls would be released in installments and promised that a “significant number” would be released sooner rather than later.

“A batch of them will be released shortly, and this will be followed by further actions from Boko Haram. It is a process…. It is not a question of hours and days,” Okupe admitted.

Okupe refused to provide more details about the agreement or elaborate on what Boko Haram demanded in return for the release of the schoolgirls. What Okupe did confirm was that there was now “peace” between Boko Haram and Nigeria, and that the government has been “looking beyond the girls. We want to end the insurgency in this country.”

“Already, the terrorists have announced a cese-fire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in similar vein, declared a cease-fire,” said government spokesperson Mike Omeri.

Other reports suggest that, while the release of the 219 or so girls still in captivity is certainly on the table, no specific deal has been struck regarding their freedom. “They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them. I am cautiously optimistic,” Tukur told the BBC.

#BringBackOurGirls

When over 200 girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok in April, a movement calling for their return emerged on social media, called #BringBackOurGirls. On the movement’s official Twitter feed, #BringBackOurGirls organizers wrote that they were “monitoring the news with huge expectations.”

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