Video: Scores of Nigeria's Chibok schoolgirls reunited with their families
Issued on: Modified:
The 82 Nigerian schoolgirls recently released after more than three years in Boko Haram captivity were reunited with their families for the first time Saturday in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Images from the scene showed brightly dressed families rushing through the crowd and embracing outdoors. One small group sank to their knees, with a woman raising her hands as if praising in church. Others were in tears, as anxious parents looked for signs of how deeply the extremists had changed their daughters' lives.
EMOTIONAL; After more than 3 years, the newly-released 82 Chibok girls reunite with their parents and their 23 schoolmates today in Abuja. pic.twitter.com/mf97bTeOnc— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) May 20, 2017
"I am really happy today, I am Christmas and New year, I am very happy and I thank God," said mother Godiya Joshua, whose daughter Esther was among those freed.
It was the largest liberation of hostages since 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted from their boarding school in 2014. Five commanders from the extremist group were exchanged for the girls' freedom in early May, and Nigeria's government has said it would make further exchanges to bring the 113 remaining schoolgirls home.
To watch the video in full, click on the player above.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)