TERRORISM: Latest on Abduction of Nigerian Schoolgirls

May 9, 2014 at 12:00 am 1 comment

 Nigerian Abductions

Parents of some of the kidnapped girls mourn their losses. (Voice of America photo via Wikipedia)

Parents of some of the kidnapped girls weep and pray.
(Voice of America photo via Wikipedia)

The United States, Britain, France, Canada and China are among the countries pledging to assist Nigerian authorities locate and rescue hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by the violent Islamist group, Boko Haram.

According to the Voice of America, a military spokesman said almost a dozen staff officers were already in Nigeria and would form the core of the U.S. team to aid in finding the nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the team is “moving as quickly as possible.” About 10 more members from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) will join the team within days.

The team will be based at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, and will help with communications, logistics and intelligence, VOA reported.

President Barack Obama directed the formation of an interagency coordination and assessment cell after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan accepted a U.S. offer of assistance, the colonel told reporters Wednesday (May 7).

Eight more Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted Sunday (May 4) in the turbulent northeast part of the country and the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram – which has admitted kidnapping hundreds of other girls last month — is suspected to be behind the latest attack, Reuters reported this week.

It happened at a village in Borno state, where their earlier mass abduction took place. That attack has prompted demonstrations in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital … a massive protest on Twitter … and calls for U.S. and British military assistance to help find the girls.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama joined the international Facebook and Twitter campaign to spur the return of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. (White House photo)

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama joined the international Facebook and Twitter campaign to spur the return of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.
(White House photo)

In addition to the U.S., Britain has promised to provide satellite imagery, France said it will send security agents and Canada offered surveillance equipment and personnel to run it. China became the latest nation to offer help on Thursday, VOA said.

Breaking a three-week silence, Abubaka Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, which wants to restore a very conservative version of Islamic law to the majority Muslim region of Nigeria, threatened to sell the girls his followers seized April 14 at their school in Borno state, Al Jazeera and other news outlets reported.

There has been a great deal of confusion about how many girls were taken, how many were still being held and what the Nigerian government was doing to find them and punish the kidnappers.

Government and school officials first claimed most of the girls had escaped or were returned, But complaints by parents led officials to concede more than 200 – as many as 279 – girls were still being held in a remote, densely-forested area on the Nigeria-Cameroon border.

Nigeria map (CIA World factbook)

the Nigeria map
(CIA World factbook)

UNICEF told the New York Times that the second kidnapping in the village of Chibok involved at least eight girls who were seized from their homes to prevent them from attending school. The girls taken Sunday were between the ages of 12 and 15.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and recently determined the continent’s largest economy has been rocked in recent months by increasingly violent attacks from Boko Haram. 

Bomb attacks in April and again last week in Abuja, the capital, killed a total of 94 people.  In February, 29 male college students in Yobe province were killed in an attack blamed on Boko Haram. And between 100 (the government’s figures) and 300 people (local residents’ count) were killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in another northeast Nigerian town on a busy market day Monday, the BBC reported.

The school abduction has embarrassed oil-rich Nigeria, which is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja this week. Jonathan, who has faced angry protests over the lack of progress in finding the girls, requested help Sunday from the U.S. and other nations.

The Los Angeles Times reported in March, that U.S. troops were helping the Nigerian army establish a special operations command to defeat Boko Haram. U.S. and French air forces fly unarmed Reaper surveillance drones over northern Nigeria, from Niamey in neighboring Niger, to collect intelligence, the L.A. Times noted. The U.S. also has stepped up efforts in North Africa and East Africa against al Qaeda-linked extremist groups.

 

 

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, International Crime, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT: First FAA-Sanctioned Test Flights, Big Industry Conference Starts FRIDAY FOTO (May 9, 2014)

1 Comment Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Posts

May 2014
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Categories


%d bloggers like this: