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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More