News / Africa

US Cannot Confirm Nigerian Claim About Locating Kidnapped Girls

People wearing red gather for a prayer vigil for the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos, May 27, 2014.
People wearing red gather for a prayer vigil for the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos, May 27, 2014.
Reuters
The United States said on Tuesday it does not have information that would support Nigeria's claim that it knows the whereabouts of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls, and U.S. and European officials voiced skepticism about the statement.
 
“We don't have independent information from the United States to support” that statement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. “We, as a matter of policy and for the girls' safety and wellbeing, would not discuss publicly this sort of information regardless.”
 
Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said on Monday that the country's military knew the location of the schoolgirls, abducted by the Boko Haram Islamic militant group on April 14.
 
Five U.S. and European security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had no credible information on the location of the girls and were skeptical that the Nigerian government knew where they were.
 
The five officials said the United States and some European allies had provided technical intelligence, including information from spy aircraft and satellites, to Nigerian authorities, who lack such intelligence capabilities.
 
But the officials said that as far as they knew technical intelligence systems had not produced precise or credible information establishing the girls' location.
 
The five officials said that if the Nigerians had obtained such information from informants on the ground, it has not been shared with U.S. and allied agencies.
 
One impediment to finding the girls, the officials said, was that since their abduction seven weeks ago they had been divided into small groups. Boko Haram is also believed to be hiding them in densely forested terrain where it would be hard for modern technical intelligence systems to gather information.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 28, 2014 2:31 PM
This sharing of intelligence! With trust problems and mistrust. Well, it is well, at least there is hope for the girls' families. Goes to expose the hand of the CIA in it all: If Nigeria says it has found the girls, what is USA's problem with that? Why must you dispute it if you are not trying to cover something? I am skeptical about all this trouble everywhere and who must find what - just to be austere with words. But with all the seeming collaboration and shielding by VOA in defense of the Nigerian officials' actions and/or inaction in these matters leave much to be desired. For instance I add below - if only for the consumption of those editors who hate the truth and would not want the reading public to know what people are saying or feeling about issues on the ground - my earlier contribution regarding the possible fallacy or otherwise of this news item, including the report of the killing of about 45 Nigerian troops in a boko haram attack.

"A shameful news! That boko haram continues to overpower our army is an indication the army is gone pulp. Has Alex really seen the girls? Or is he trying to create a situation of hope where there is no hope? Is he trying to use this as a face saving game when the army should be covering its face with shame at the beating by a gang of thieves like boko haram? What should Nigeria do about this insider dealers who betray the army and yield a lot of benefits to the boko haram ambushes? Is anyone being investigated, interrogated, or queried for the colossal losses? Or is Nigeria going to return to business as usual and allow the status quo to remain while the miscreants in the service continue to quarry our youths in the army on the altar of the political, religious and ethnic ego while bringing shame on all of us over an army of bananas? This killing in particular is very disturbing, not only is it harrowing in the number of soldiers and police involved, but it goes to show how insecure the country is under an army and police that cannot protect itself, much less the citizens."

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