Of the roughly 197 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who still are unaccounted for after Boko Haram militants kidnapped them in Borno State two years ago, about 114 have either died, been married off, or become radicalised and don’t want to leave their Boko Haram kidnappers, sources have said.
Only 83 will be negotiated for when the the Nigerian government resumes talks next week for their release, two sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CNN.
Negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government over the captives are expected to resume Monday, four days after the militant group handed over 21 former Chibok schoolgirls to authorities in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls and women, ages 16 to 18, in the middle of the night at a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, in April 2014, drawing global outrage.
As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately in 2014, and one was found months ago.
If the sources are correct about the number of dead or otherwise unavailable, that would mean more than 40 per cent of those who were kidnapped in 2014 stand no chance of being brought home alive or no obvious immediate chance of being retrieved through negotiation.
While the Nigerian government has said Boko Haram released the 21 as a result of negotiations brokered by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross, it hasn’t said what the militant group may have received in return.
According to CNN, two sources close to the negotiations disclosed that that Boko Haram received money as part of the deal. The sources did not disclose the amount. THISDAY had exclusively reported shortly after the 21 girls were released that their freedom was secured after after an undisclosed amount of money was paid to the Boko Haram leaders.
The Nigerian government has not publicly and specifically addressed the issue of money.