Australia To Deploy Special Forces To Help Rescue Abducted Chibok Girls

Australia To Deploy Special Forces To Help Rescue Abducted Chibok Girls

By ThisDay on June 4, 2014
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Chibok Girls Boko Haram
Screenshot of video released by Boko Haram showing some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls

The Australian government has offered to deploy its Special Forces to help Nigeria rescue more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted more than a month ago by the extremist Boko Haram group from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

This came as the Inspector General of Police (IG). Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, overturned the order by the Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Joseph Mbu, banning the #BringBackOurGirls rallies in Abuja, stating that the Police High Command did not issue any order banning peaceful assemblies/protests anywhere in Nigeria.

Australia said the Special Air Service (SAS) regiment is on standby to deploy for the rescue if the Nigerian government accepts the offer.

Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, told Sky News yesterday that Nigeria was yet to respond to the offer.
“Australian troops, the SAS, are always on standby for contingencies,” Bishop said.
“We have made an offer to the Nigerian government to provide whatever support they need to release the girls. We’ve made a specific offer to our UK and US allies … that we are ready to assist in whatever way we can.

“We have not had a response from the Nigerian government.
“They’ve thanked us for our willingness to be involved in trying to rescue the girls but we haven’t had any specific acceptance of the offers that we’ve made.”

The schoolgirls were seized on April 14 and have remained in captivity despite a throng of support from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Israel – all providing surveillance and intelligence support, and specialist teams.

Until now, no country offered to send ground troops into Nigeria for the rescue operations.
The closest was the deployment of 80 troops to Chad by the US, which said the personnel would support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.
But the Australian government also faces calls for caution.
The country’s Green Party, which holds minority seats in the parliament, said the government must come clean with details of the Nigeria operation before getting involved.

“The Greens want to see the schoolgirls in Nigeria rescued,” the party’s leader, Christine Milne, was quoted by ABC Australia as saying.

“It is shocking to think all those young women have been dragged away and we don’t know the circumstances in which they find themselves but I think the PM needs to inform Australia fully as to what Australia would be getting into if we sent troops into Africa.”

The party said it was concerned at Australia again joining a coalition to take on another terrorist war in sub-Saharan Africa, as it did in Afghanistan.

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