UNICEF hails release of over 80 abducted Nigerian girls
UNITED NATIONS, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Sunday welcomed Saturday's release of more than 80 of the girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in the northeastern part of Nigeria three years ago.
"It is heartening to know that the girls will be returning to their families who have been waiting for this day," the UN agency said in a statement. "They will face a long and difficult process to rebuild their lives after the indescribable horror and trauma they have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram."
Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group that has making killings and kidnappings across parts of West Africa since their insurgency started in 2009, forcing millions of people to flee for their lives.
At least 82 out of the more than 200 Chibok girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state have been released on Saturday, reports said.
UNICEF is on standby to support the Nigerian authorities to provide the comprehensive psychosocial support and other specialized services needed, said the statement.
"We will help reunite the girls with their families and make sure they can continue their education in a safe environment. Already staff at a UNICEF-supported health clinic have been supporting immediate efforts to identify the girls and conduct medical check-ups before their onward transport."
"UNICEF calls on Boko Haram to end all grave violations against children, especially the abduction of children and the sexual abuse and forced marriage of girls," the statement said.
"UNICEF is committed to doing whatever it takes, as long as it takes to help these children recover a sense of normalcy with our available resources," the statement added.