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Obama pledges to help Nigeria find kidnapped schoolgirls

English.news.cn   2014-05-07 08:15:48
 • "We're going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them," Obama said.
 • Nigerian had accepted U.S. assistance from a team of military and law enforcement officials.
 • U.S. ruled out using American forces in Africa in the search and rescue effort.
 

WASHINGTON, May 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that his administration will do its utmost to help Nigeria find more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by an extremist group in mid-April.

"In the short term our goal is obviously to help the international community, and the Nigerian government, as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies," said the president, a father of two teenage daughters, in an interview with NBC's "Today" program.

He said the long-term goal is to deal with groups like Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of 234 teenage schoolgirls in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno and threatened to sell them as brides. At least eight more girls were kidnapped in the region, press reports said on Tuesday.

"Boko Haram, this terrorist organization that's been operating in Nigeria, has been killing people and innocent civilians for a very long time," Obama said. "I can only imagine what the parents are going through."

Washington slapped sanctions on the group in November, including denied access to U.S. financial institutions and a freezing on its assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

"We're going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them," Obama said, adding the Nigerian government had accepted an American offer of assistance from a team of U.S. military and law enforcement officials.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the offer in his phone talks with President Goodluck Jonathan earlier in the day, White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a daily press briefing.

The proposed team "would include U.S. military personnel, law enforcement officials with expertise in investigations and hostage negotiations, as well as officials with expertise in other areas that may be helpful to the Nigerian government in its response," Carney noted.

Jonathan had said his government had no knowledge of where the girls were being held.

But Carney ruled out using American forces in Africa in the search and rescue effort, saying "We're not considering at this point military resources."

Related:

Boko Haram claims responsibility for abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria: local media

ABUJA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Boko Haram sect on Monday claimed responsibility for the abduction of schoolgirls in the northeast region of Nigeria, local media reported.

The network made the claim in a video, Abuja-based local online newspaper Premium Times reported. However, the video was yet to go viral on the internet as of the time of filing this report. Full Story

Nigerian rights group calls for release of abducted girls in northeast state

LAGOS, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Women's rights group in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State, on Wednesday renewed their call on the Boko Haram insurgents to release the remaining 230 girls abducted from a school.

The women, under the aegis of Baobab For Women's Rights, asked the group to unconditionally release the students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. Full Story

Editor: Yamei Wang
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