News / Africa

    US Spy Planes Help Hunt for Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

    Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, speaks during a press conference on the abducted school girls in Abuja, Nigeria, May 12, 2014.
    Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, Nigeria's top military spokesman, speaks during a press conference on the abducted school girls in Abuja, Nigeria, May 12, 2014.
    VOA News
    The United States is flying surveillance aircraft over Nigeria to help in the effort to find more than 200 schoolgirls who remain missing after being kidnapped last month.
     
    A senior Obama administration official said Monday the U.S. is using manned missions for the surveillance and has also shared commercial satellite images with the Nigerian government.
     
    White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier Monday the U.S. is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support.
     
    "As you know, President Obama has directed his team to do everything it can to support the Nigerian government's efforts to find and free these girls," Carney said. "I can report to you that our interdisciplinary team with representatives from the State Department, Department of Defense, the FBI and others is up and running now in our Embassy in Nigeria, helping to support the Nigerian government by providing military and law enforcement assistance as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support."
     
    Carney also said White House officials have seen a video released by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram that the group claims shows dozens of the kidnapped girls.  He said the officials have no reason to question its authenticity, and that intelligence experts are carefully examining the video for clues that could help find the girls.
     
    The 17-minute video shows about 100 of the girls dressed in black and gray full-length hijabs, sitting in an undisclosed rural area, reciting Muslim scriptures and holding their hands for prayers. 
     
    In the video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claims the girls have been "liberated" by becoming Muslims. He says the girls will not be released until the group's imprisoned fighters are freed in Nigeria.
     
    Nigerian authorities are holding hundreds of suspected Boko Haram militants in jail.
     
    'All options open'

    The director general of Nigeria's National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri, says officials are studying the situation, and all options remain open to free the missing girls.
     
    The United Nations says it has sent a high-level representative to Nigeria to support the government's efforts to find the abducted schoolgirls, and Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit will meet with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and other senior government officials over the next few days.
     
    Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok. The militants have threatened to sell the girls on the human trafficking market.
     
    Boko Haram is blamed for thousands of deaths in bombing and shooting attacks during the past five years. The militants say they are fighting to establish a strict Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rahim from: Rivers State NIGERIA
    May 17, 2014 7:10 PM
    The military should cut of there supply of foods, and ammunitions, through niger, chad, cameroon e.t.c. Then track all out and incoming calls. If the's clue 'll be pute to pratice then they 'll starve and 'll be willing to come out to still and hunt for food in those villagies around them. And also U.S, officials should examine those northern soldier be couse most of them are spy's and informant to boko haram. It all started in the police and military when police men kill there fellow police and take there gun to the insurgence.

    by: nestor vidal from: jeddah
    May 17, 2014 3:05 PM
    The west, the christians or the disbelievers can really do nothing to stop terrorism wc is clearly stated in a copy of the quoran given to me by a saudi arabian friend: " o you who believe, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back as losers. Nay, Allah is your Maula(patron,lord,helper,protector) and he is the best of helpers. We shall cast terror into the hearts of the disbelievers because they join others in worship with Allah, ...

    by: NELLY KEFAKAE from: BOTSWANA
    May 17, 2014 9:03 AM
    ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TOWADS THESE SO CALLED BOKO HARRAM LEADER.SAME THING HAS TO BE DONE TO HIM LIKE IT HAPPEND TO OSAMA.I TRUST AMERICAN ND UM SURE HE WIL BE IN HOT SOUP SOON

    by: pitson kasambala from: malawi
    May 13, 2014 12:52 PM
    Thanks to american govt,pliz continue helping the needy
    In Response

    by: Adeola Ikuomola from: Nigeria
    May 15, 2014 6:21 AM
    BRING BACK OUR GIRLS

    Bring back our homesick girls
    Their vacant cradles are bleeding
    Bring back our innocent girls
    On the chariots of fire descending

    Bring back our suckling girls
    Their feeding bottles are weeping
    Bring back our infant girls
    Their mother’s breasts are heavy

    Bring back our harmless girls
    The united universe is thundering
    Bring back our dewy girls
    In the sharp sun rising in the skies

    Bring back our beautiful girls
    Like light plucked from darkness
    Bring back our glorious girls
    Aboard the shore-bound waves

    Bring back our worthy girls
    On their fresh faces our lights seek to glow
    Bring back our living girls
    Our fountains of joy are bubbling to burst

    For our returned girls the skies shall bear
    Roaring rivers, singing seas, chiming clouds
    With gongs and songs, pianos and praises
    Dulcet dulcimers and documentable dances
    With healthy hymns and eloquent embraces
    All nations shall into a common cathedral flow

    by: Mastica Mbatembi from: Nigeria
    May 13, 2014 10:42 AM
    i heard that the US has put on alert the Israeli counter terrorism units - if this is true, President Goodluck Jonathan can effect a permanent change and rescue the innocent girls. I believe that it is the President indecision and hesitancy not asking Obama to unleash the Israelis on Boko Haram that will spell the ruin of the Girls and send them into sex slavery and forced conversion.

    by: Muana Kasongo from: DRC
    May 13, 2014 9:49 AM
    We appreciate USA's help to the Nigerian govrnment for bringing back home the innoncents abducted schoolgirls. This is a proof that President Obama thinks better for the african continent.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    May 13, 2014 9:08 AM
    I do believe, that the African Union refused to allow US killer drones and the "Unequal Treaty" that goes with them, to kill Africans no matter who they are, if they are terrorists or innocents.... They'd be useful as spy drones, wouldn't they be? US killer drones would be far more effective than manned US spy planes, wouldn't they be? -- (BUT?) -- they do bomb and kill a lot of innocents people, without the US being charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, don't they?

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora