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World leaders rise against Boko Haram, finetune strategies to rescue Chibok schoolgirls

By News Express on 08/05/2014

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Three days after the leader of Boko Haram, Abubkar Shekau, in a video threatened to sell at the market the abducted female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, world leaders have risen to the challenge of assisting Nigeria to rescue the girls.

France, Britain, China and the United States vowed to deploy military logistics to Nigeria to locate and rescue the girls. Downing Street spokesman said Britain is sending a small team of experts to Nigeria to help respond to the kidnapping of the girls. The team will concentrate on planning, coordination and advice to local authorities rather than operations on the ground to look for the girls, who were seized by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram on April 14.

The announcement was made shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan accepted the offer in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday.

The spokesman said the team would fly to Nigeria “as soon as possible.” Ac­cording to the statement, the experts will be drawn from government departments including the defence, international development and foreign affairs ministries and may include military officers. It was not explained how large the team would be.

Speaking in parliament earlier, Cameron condemned the kidnapping as “pure evil”. “I’m the father of two young daughters and my reaction is the same as every father or mother in this land or the world,” he told the lower House of Commons.

“This is an act of pure evil, it has united people across the planet to stand with Nigeria to help find these children and return them to their parents.” He said Britain had made “repeated offers of help” since the kidnap.

“This is not just a Nigerian issue; it is a global is­sue,” he added. “There are extreme Islamists around our world who are against education, against progress, against equality and we must fight them and take them on wherever they are.”

Recall that the United States had on Tuesday pledged to deploy troops and equipments in Nigeria to help in the rescue operation of the girls. From the Asian continent, China has also pledged to join the rescue operation. Prime Minister Li Keqian who is on official visit to Nigeria yesterday held a joint press conference with President Jonathan.

The announcement was made at the end of bilateral talks between Li and Jonathan. “China promised to assist Nigeria in our fight against terror, especially in our commitment and effort to rescue the girls that were taken away from a secondary school,” Jonathan said following bilateral talks he had with Li.

Li for his part noted only that greater cooperation be­tween the two nations could also include efforts to “op­pose and fight terrorism” but did not give any details. According to Jonathan, the Chinese prime minister “expressed firm support to efforts at safeguarding our sovereignty and secure our territorial integrity as well as promoting economic de­velopment.” Li flew to Ni­geria from Ethiopia and is also scheduled to visit Angola and Kenya.

Also, France yesterday offered Nigeria a “special team” to search for and rescue the girls.

“A special team with all our resources in the region is at the disposal of Nigeria to help in the search and recovery of these young girls,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told parliament.

President Francois Hollande was due to hold phone talks with Jonathan on the subject, sources close to the French leader said as at press time. “The president gave the defence minister and myself the order… to put our (intelligence) services at the disposal of Nigeria and neighbouring countries,” Fabius said.

Earlier Wednesday, French government spokes­man Stephane Le Foll denounced the kidnappings as “one of the most atrocious forms of terrorism because it involves kidnapping and trafficking children.”

His comments came as Boko Haram kidnapped another 11 girls on Tuesday from Warabe village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. France already has troops on the ground in Mali not far away, where they continue to engage in intelligence gathering to further weaken armed Islamists in the north after driving them out of towns they had occupied for months.

•Credit (except headline): Daily SUN.

Source News Express

Posted 08/05/2014 1:14:27 PM





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