US: We Will Help Nigeria Find Abducted Girls, Punish Perpetrators

US: We Will Help Nigeria Find Abducted Girls, Punish Perpetrators

By ThisDay on May 4, 2014
US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on "Securing American Entities Operating Abroad" at the US Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) November 20, 2013, during their 28th Annual Briefing at the US Department of State in Washington, DC. | AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards/Getty Images

As outrage continues to trail the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls on April 14 from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has pledged US support to help find the missing girls and to bring perpetrators to justice.

Also, President Goodluck Jonathan last night held a closed door meeting at the State House with Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, the state education commissioner, other top government functionaries and some parents of the abducted girls.

Present at the meeting, which began at 9 pm when Jonathan arrived, were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Secretary to the Government of Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, and Supervising Minister of Education Nyeson Wike and Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said how to ensure the safe release of the abducted girls from their captors topped the agenda of the meeting.

Pledging US support to help find the abducted girls, Kerry who was on a visit to Ethiopia said, “Let me be clear. The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime.

“We will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice. That is our responsibility and the world’s responsibility.”

He disclosed that US was “working to strengthen Nigeria’s institutions and its military to combat Boko Haram’s campaign of terror and violence.”

He further stated: “I’ve seen this scourge of terror across the planet, and so have you. They don’t offer anything. They just tell people, ‘You have to behave the way we tell you to.’ Our responsibility, and the world’s responsibility, is to stand up to that kind of nihilism.”

Kerry, who was delivering a speech in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on US policy and objectives in Africa, did however not specify what kind of help the US would provide.

A senior State Department official traveling with Kerry however said the secretary of state was referring to security, communications and intelligence help for the overall fight against Boko Haram.

Contrary to reports, the State Department official also said that US was not yet directly involved in the search for the missing girls.

A team of US officials from several agencies will travel to Nigeria in the coming week for consultations, the official said.

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