Monday, May 12, 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram offers to trade Nigerian schoolgirls for prisoners - Update

As reported, here, last week, the Nigerian government has been less than pro-active, or even helpful, when it has come to protecting Nigerian girls threatened by Boko Haram's latest terrorist acts.

According to Amnesty International report last week, Nigerian government officials were warned of the attack that resulted in the kidnapping of school age girls and the destruction of the school.  The government failed to act even with full knowledge of planned attacks.

Yes, we know that all offers, from imperialist bullies, will come with marionnette strings but that should be nothing new for the highly comical marionnette, Goodluck Jonathan. et al. who dance for oil corporations then pocket the people's money, leaving the people jobless, hopeless and in starvation.....but I digress...
The Boko Haram has released a video showing the first images of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls since their abduction nearly one month ago. Close to half of the nearly 300 girls are seen on the tape, chanting what appears to be a verse from the Koran. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is also shown and appears to offer the girls’ freedom in exchange for the Nigerian government’s release of all the group’s prisoners. Three of the girls are interviewed, saying they have not been harmed and have been converted to Islam.

From CBS...

From the CBS article:
A video distributed Monday shows the leader of the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram saying he is willing to trade more than 200 kidnapped teenage girls for imprisoned members of his group, and offered the first evidence that most of the girls are still alive.

The video, which was obtained by the French AFP news agency, shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau addressing the camera with an automatic weapon in his first online appearance since claiming responsibility for the mass-kidnapping and threatening to sell the girls into slavery.

In another portion of the video dozens of young women in traditional Muslim dress are seen gathered in an outdoor area, chanting verses from the Koran in unison. Approximately 150 young women can be seen in the video. At one point a single girl addresses the camera in front of the group, appearing nervous, and recites Koranic verse.

Shekau addresses the camera in a different setting, appearing alone with his assault rifle and speaking in his native Hausa language. He asserts that Boko Haram has "liberated" the girls already, referring to many who he claims have "become Muslims."

"If you want us to release your girls we kidnapped, those of them that have not accepted Islam, they are now gathered in numbers. And we treat them well the way the prophet would treat well any infidel he seized. They are staying (with us). We will never release them until our brethren are released," Shekau says in the video. He does not name or identify any specific Boko Haram prisoners he would want released in exchange for the girls, but rather seems to suggest the Nigerian government would need to free imprisoned militants en-mass in any exchange deal.

"It is now four years or five years that you arrested our brethren and they are still in your prison," Shekau says, calling for the release of prisoners held across the nation. There was no immediate reaction from Nigerian officials.

The video appears to confirm information from a source who told CBS News on Friday that Boko Haram was interested in making a prisoner swap deal. Correspondent and CBS News contributor Debora Patta reported Monday for "CBS This Morning" that the source had suggested the new video could contain a coded message to the Nigerian government, which is believed to be involved in back-channel negotiations with the militants already.

Experts have expressed concern that many of the kidnapped girls may already have been smuggled across Nigeria's borders into Chad, Niger or Cameroon.

Patta reported Monday that, according to her source, the Nigerian government was using a two-pronged approach; continuing search and rescue operations in conjunction with its international partners, while also setting up a committee to negotiate directly with Boko Haram.
More of this story to come.

Kleptocrats, terrorists and the poor people left in the middle to suffer. 

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