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103 Freed Chibok girls to go back to school

BY: BBC
Parents are waiting to find out if their children are among the rescued girls
Parents are waiting to find out if their children are among the rescued girls

The 103 schoolgirls released from captivity after being taken by Islamist militants Boko Haram in Chibok, north-east Nigeria, will go back to school in September, a minister has said.

Women's Affairs Minister Aisha Alhassan said the girls would be ready psychologically, a BBC report had said.

She said the rehabilitation centre in the capital, Abuja, where some of the girls have been kept, would be closed.

The girls include the 82 released on Saturday, Ms Alhassan said.

She told journalists that the young women were "stable" and "cheerful" compared to how the 21 freed last year were on their release.

"Their psychological state is better than when these ones [the 21] came, so I believe between now and September these other ones should be able to stabilise and we will be able to take all of them to school in September," she said.

"As a lay person, not as a medical doctor, I feel that medically too they are not too bad," she added.

Ms Alhassan also said the government would continue seeking experts' advice on the girls' psychological state.

She said the vocational centre, which was especially set up for the girls' rehabilitation, woul be closed after they leave to resume their education.

Ms Alhassan said girls at the centre had been receiving psychological care and were not "having nightmares anymore".

Those that were released on Saturday will also be admitted to the vocational centre, where they will get skills training.

She denied reports that the young women were being held against their will and said they were free to leave the centre. “At least one is currently visiting her family but her plans were being kept secret,” she added.

Boko Haram militants are thought to be still holding more than 100 of the 276 taken from Chibok three years ago.

The militant group has also kidnapped thousands of other people during their insurgency in the region.

It is believed that some of those abducted have been married to fighters and have had children with them.

Ms Alhassan said they were still working with parents to identify the 82 girls released last Saturday.