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

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    A lot, and then some: the huge - and complicated - cost of the AIDS epidemic

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora