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.

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Comment Sorting
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, ...

May 17, 2014 9:03 AM

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 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?

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