News / Africa

US Role Likely Limited in Nigerian Hunt for Abducted Schoolgirls

Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.
Ken Bredemeier
While Nigeria's government has accepted offers from the United States, Britain and France to send law enforcement and military experts to assist in the investigation of nearly 300 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, experts say the U.S. role will likely be limited.

U.S. President Barack Obama is among world officials who have condemned the kidnappings and the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin" and has claimed responsibility for the abductions.

"It's a heartbreaking situation, an outrageous situation," the president said. "This may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community - to finally do something against this horrendous organization."

With Nigeria's assent, the U.S. is sending in a variety of military advisers, criminal investigators and hostage negotiators to help find the girls.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said Wednesday that a handful of U.S. military advisers - less than 10 - is part of the team that will depart within days to the Nigerian capital. He said there are no plans for a U.S. military operation.

"Their mission there is simply to assess and advise," he said. "These personnel will be experts in areas to include communications, logistics, intelligence, all of the functionalities that we believe will be helpful."

Limited assistance

A former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, voiced skepticism at the extent of the U.S. effort.

"I think it is highly unlikely that there would be large numbers of Americans going to Nigeria," he said. "Whatever assistance we might provide, and might be welcomed by the Nigerian side, is likely to be essentially technical."

A former State Department official, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, said Nigeria in the past has been reluctant to accept U.S. assistance, believing it can handle its own affairs.

"The government's willingness to accept publicly large amounts of assistance makes it look as though its policies in the past have failed, that it is ineffective and weak in dealing with a domestic issue and that its sovereignty...is being infringed because they can't in fact do it themselves," he said.

Since 2009, Boko Haram has been involved in deadly attacks on schools and suicide bombings, while funding itself with bank robberies., Campbell said, adding that the Islamist militants control as much as a third of Nigeria.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: chukwuemeka ukor from: lagos
May 08, 2014 4:06 AM
Trully am still amazed why jonathan will be treating this boko haram issue with a kid gloves.what actually were the work of the military?why were not airforce brought in to get all these baggers.let him keep on acting mealy because of what these northerners will say not until the whole game will consume him to learn his lesson later.if it was in my past life when i was "The Fuehrer Of German Third Reich",since these boko haram issue would have been a thing of the past.Human beings with their poor religious upbringing.honestly speaking these sects of human animals were just damned too lucky.


by: Rahim ODUAH from: Rivers state NIGERIA
May 08, 2014 1:13 AM
Boko haram, A dimonic and non educated organisation. They hate negotiating with the government, but maybe they might negotiate with the northern politicians and elders, because there sponsorers are in the mids, and some of the nigerian hausa armies are there people which pases infomation of the military to them. Some of the hausa police and army are boko haram. President jonathan should discouse the issues of boko haram in the south south, "not in the north, to keep the infomation away from the hausa armies and police. As for me cut off there supply of foods and ammunition, use a space satalite to read there movement.


by: Arthur Flores from: Las cruces, N. M. USA
May 07, 2014 7:31 PM
You do not negotiate with abductors

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid