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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Kurdish service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs