News / Africa

Amnesty: Nigeria Warned About School Raid

A woman carries a sign as she attends a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos, May 9, 2014.
A woman carries a sign as she attends a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Lagos, May 9, 2014.
VOA News
A human rights group says Nigerian security forces had advance warning about the raid on a girls boarding school in which militants kidnapped more than 300 students.

Amnesty International says Nigerian security forces failed to act on warnings that began coming in more than four hours before Boko Haram fighters attacked the school in the town of Chibok late on April 14.

The rights group blamed the lack of action on an "inability to muster troops," due to poor resources and a possible fear of engaging with the often better-armed militants.

Amnesty said Friday that it learned of the warnings from local officials and two senior military officers.  There was no immediate reaction from the Nigerian government.

At least 11 U.S. military staff officers have arrived in Nigeria to help find the 276 girls still missing.  

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will do all it can to free the girls.

"Our inter-agency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now, and they are going to be working in concert with [Nigerian] President Goodluck Jonathan's government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls to their families and their communities.  We are also going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram."

Britain, China, France and Canada have also promised to help with the search.

Boko Haram's leader has said the group intends to "sell" the girls.  Nigerian police have offered a $300,000 reward for information leading to the location and rescue of the students.

Boko Haram is blamed for thousands of deaths since it launched an uprising against the Nigerian government in 2009.  

The group has attacked schools, churches, mosques, police stations, and markets while seeking to establish strict Islamic law in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

Nigeria declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states a year ago but efforts by the military to crush or contain the insurgency have been unsuccessful.

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Comment Sorting
by: ©Cirm™ from: Nigeria
May 10, 2014 3:29 AM
amnesty international are bunch of clowns!

by: Jose from: Honolulu
May 09, 2014 11:40 PM
The problem for the US is the unknowns entering a foreign nation, it looks like a state of corruption, but who's to blame for the lack of warning can be decided later-right now everybody needs to put their best foot forward in the help for the return of these girls.

by: ali baba from: new york
May 09, 2014 1:31 PM
Amnesty international is plying double standard. All their reports about radical Muslim whom they are treating badly by oppressive Gov. Those radical Muslim which are defend by amnesty international are committed horrible crimes. They committed a horrible crime then they cry as a woman and amnesty international are spoken in their behalf they forget that radical Muslim committed crimes like murder and raping woman. then amnesty international ask for their release to commit other crime. we have enough of double standard

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 09, 2014 1:14 PM
In a situation where the information is given to an insider boko haram agent in the military, police or joint task force team, what do you expect to happen. An army constituted of over 80% anti government elements and boko haram sympathizers, what do you expect to see? When you have an insensitive government that goes to sleep over issues and has a sluggish response to matters of urgency, will the result be different? The hope of Nigerians to find the girls as well as know the truth of the matter is that foreign expertise is getting involved. Otherwise it would remain a matter of verbosity, blame and counter blame. Please let us find the girls and let Nigeria return to her status quo - a sleeping giant.
In Response

by: Allymax from: United States
May 09, 2014 3:05 PM
Godwin - many of us in the West agree that collusion, corruption, lack of training and incompetence all conspired to create a situation where the Nigerian government did not protect its citizens. That is unacceptable. We are praying for a speedy, safe return of all the girls and an end to terrorist groups around the globe.

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