Reports: Chibok girls swapped for detainees, ransom or both?
JOHANNESBURG — Conflicting reports emerged Friday about whether the first negotiated release of some Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014 involved a ransom payment, a prisoner swap for Islamic extremist commanders, or both.
A Nigerian hostage negotiator who was not involved in Thursday's release told The Associated Press a "handsome ransom" in the millions of dollars was paid by Switzerland's government on behalf of Nigerian authorities. He said the Swiss would recoup the money from some $321 million it had said it would repatriate to Nigeria this year from frozen funds looted under former military dictator Sani Abacha.
Swiss officials confirmed Thursday that they had played a neutral, humanitarian role in the operation. And the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that it had received 21 Chibok girls from Boko Haram and handed them over to Nigerian authorities.