>> 21 of the more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted from the village of Chibok, northeast of Nigeria, in April 2014 by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, have been released. My name is Alexis Akwagyiram. I'm Senior Reuters Nigerian Correspondent, and I'm reporting from the capital Abuja, where the government has been explaining the background to this breakthrough.
And also, as you can see over my shoulder, campaigners who've been calling for the girls release are celebrating this development. In April 2014, around 270 girls were abducted from their dormitories in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, by Boko Haram. Dozens of the girls successfully escaped in subsequent manner, but around 200 or so were still missing.
At a press briefing, the Minister of Information said that reports that Boko Haram fighters have been released in a swap deal were untrue. He categorically said that this was a release and not a swap deal. With respect to the 21 girls who have been released, he said that they will be treated by doctors and also by a team of trauma specialists.
He said that checks are being made with the girls' families, and once all the families have been notified, their names would be released. Now the plight of the Chibok girls has been at the front of Nigeria's public perception for the last two years. It has hardly left social media, newspaper, television, and radio, in large part because of a campaign group called Bring Back Our Girls, who work tirelessly to make sure that people do not forget about these girls.
In a statement issued today, they welcomed news of this release, and they're also saying that the Nigerian Government needs to continue to try and work towards securing the release of the remaining girls. For their part, the Nigerian government has said that they will continue to negotiate with Boko Haram and try and find a way to get all the girls to be released.