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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora