The Nigerian government “will not rest” until more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in 2014 have been freed, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday during a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

In April 2014, members of the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls from a state secondary school in Chibok, in the eastern Nigerian state of Borno. The girls have not been seen since.


Buhari said he had promised the girls’ parents that “the government will not rest until all the girls are rescued alive and reunited with their families”.

“I remain fully committed to this pledge,” he added, drawing a round of applause from EU legislators.

Nigeria has reorganised its armed forces to combat Boko Haram terrorists, he said, noting that the authorities had recaptured some areas from the extremist group and degraded its capabilities.

Buhari, who was elected last March, has promised to stop Boko Haram. The group has killed thousands in West Africa since 2009 in its quest to establish a state with a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Thousands of young women and girls have been captured in past years and in some cases raped, forcibly married, and made to participate in armed attacks on their own communities, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

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