News / Africa

With 219 Girls Missing, Nigeria Kidnapping Inquiry Concludes

Some of the escaped kidnapped girls of the government secondary school Chibok, attend a meeting with Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.
Some of the escaped kidnapped girls of the government secondary school Chibok, attend a meeting with Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 2, 2014.
VOA News
Nigerian officials say 219 girls remain unaccounted for after being kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in April.

The latest figures on the number of missing girls come from a final report released by a government fact-finding committee appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Submitting the final report, Brigadier General Ibrahim said Friday that the militants initially took 276 girls, but 57 escaped — either as the trucks drove away or soon after.

Sabo said his committee members met with resistance when they visited Chibok last month to talk to some of the escaped girls. The militants raided a secondary school in Chibok village and forced the students onto trucks.

"The four girls were hesitant to discuss full details of their experience, citing fears of possible reprisal from the Boko Haram elements," he said. "In fact, parents of the other girls who escaped were hidden from public glare, also because of fear of reprisals."

Speaking at the Nigerian State House in Abuja Friday, Jonathan renewed vows to find the girls and crush Boko Haram.

He also said his government is looking at social and economic factors that may be driving the insurgency.
"So government is not only making efforts at military or security operations alone," he said. "We are looking at various economic issues to improve the welfare of citizens."

Many Nigerians have criticized the government for failing to rescue the girls or put a stop to the five-year insurgency by Boko Haram, which says it is trying to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. The group has killed thousands of people in attacks on schools, markets, churches, mosques and other public places.

The Chibok kidnapping and other increasingly bloody attacks by Boko Haram have underscored Abuja's inability to stamp out the militant group, which aims to carve out a radical Islamist state in the mostly Muslim north.

In what could raise the ire of Jonathan's critics, Sabo recommended the findings of the fact-finding group appointed by the president remain confidential for national security reasons.

Sabo also seemed to try to deflect expected criticism from the government.

"For the Chibok schoolgirls, little will be achieved through finger-pointing,'' he said in his statement. "Getting the girls out, and safely, too, is by far more important than the publicity generated by the blame game that has tended to becloud the issue.''

Last month, the U.S. sent military and intelligence personnel to Nigeria to help the government locate and rescue the missing girls. U.S. drones based in neighboring Chad have flown surveillance flights over the search area.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Joyce Ray from: virginia usa
June 26, 2014 12:16 PM
No one has said anything about these girls being Christian! From a Christian school! Given up by their country to slave trade, lives of brutal service and rape! We Christian continue to pray for all who live under terror everyday.

by: Temwani from: zambia
June 23, 2014 2:39 PM
da government of Nigeria gave boka raamu his people ad he will free those skul girl,because those skul girls ar missing classes,it's paining me a lot mwandi

by: Margo Mason from: United States
June 22, 2014 12:30 AM
This is unacceptable! Boko Haram must be conquered as terrorists by all countries' efforts. The Nigerian schoolgirls must be rescued. This is a world problem, not a Nigerian problem problem. Would responses be different if the kidnapped children were male? White? #BringBackOurGirls

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 21, 2014 2:49 PM
Two ways to deceive the public in this country are, one, to cite security reasons to keep reports secret - which is leadership's way of accepting defeat in the country - after all this will not be an exception, no report has ever been made public in the country nor was any ever used to solve any problem.Two, the president will make promises he is not willing to fulfill believing that Nigerians are gullible and would be swayed by empty promises. For a president who is unable to command respect among the rank and file, who does he think he's deceiving vowing once again to fight boko haram and bring back the girls when he took more than a month to visit their grieving parents in their agony? I do not think Nigerians still believe him, except maybe people from his kitchen plus E.K Clarke and MEND - a militant group that can pass for a terrorist group. Whatever he says, Nigerians are asking for an immediate stop of boko haram activities in the country. Jonathan and his cohorts should stop making the world feel that boko haram is stronger than the Nigerian security services. He should send his army against boko haram and rescue the girls held now for more than two months. Jonathan should stop politicizing the insurgency. If he refuses to address the problem from its root of allowing sharia states in the country alongside the Nigerian constitution; if he fails to understand that boko haram emerged after the sharia states failed to actualize the destabilization factor they had wished for the country using the separate rule of law, then let the president stop wasting the country's resources sitting at Aso Rock for another day. But if he does know his onus, then Nigeria should run one constitution to start with, a proper state of emergency be declared where necessary, and corrupt officers and men not only shown the way out of the armed forces, but also detained until the insurgency is quelled. At the end of the day, these guys are funded by Nigerians and have used Nigerian facilities to hostage Nigerians in Nigeria. Jonathan should wake up and work, that's why he is the president. Only 1000 troops from Cameroon did what the whole of Nigerian army could not do in years, what a shame!

by: umaru ukpo from: maryland
June 21, 2014 10:21 AM
Boko Haram is supposedly fighting to end western education in that part of the world. While they went into Chibok they left a high price target behind-Atiku's American University which is also in the heart land of Boko Haram . something doesn't smell right.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs