Boko Haram engaged in talks over abducted girls
Nigerian government officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross have had talks with Boko Haram about swapping imprisoned members of the Islamist terrorist group for the more than 200 Chibok school girls kidnapped in April, a source involved in the negotiations told CNN.
The officials met four times in mid-August with two senior members of Boko Haram in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.
The swap would involve the release of 30 Boko Haram commanders in the custody of the Nigerian government, according to the source, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.
"The two Boko Haram negotiators assured the ICRC and government negotiators that the girls were never raped, were never used as sex slaves and were never sexually assaulted," said the source, who attended the discussions.
The terrorist group abducted an estimated 276 girls in April from a boarding school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. Dozens escaped, but more than 200 are still missing.
Boko Haram has expressed a willingness for a swap with the ICRC at an undisclosed location, according to the source. But there was disagreement on some terms, including the number of girls involved in the swap.
Boko Haram had insisted on an even swap -- 30 girls for the 30 commanders -- but the government refused, according to the source.
The name "Boko Haram" translates to "Western education is sin" in the local Hausa language. The militant group is trying to impose strict Sharia law across Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.