US demands unconditional release of Chibok girls


The United States government has called on Boko Haram to release the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted from their hostels while writing their final year examination.

At a press briefing in Washington, the US Department of State Deputy Spokesman, Mark Toner, said the story of the abducted pupils was heartbreaking, pledging that America will continue to work and provide any assistance it can to obtain their eventual release.

Fielding questions from journalists, Toner said, “You’re talking about the Chibok girls from Nigeria. Well, it’s the second anniversary, I think. And of course, we call for all hostages, including these young women and girls who’ve been held by Boko Haram, to be released immediately without
preconditions. We support Nigerian efforts to bring about the safe recovery of those kidnapped and we continue to advise them on their response to this, as well as on general counter-terrorism and counter-Boko Haram efforts.”

He added that the US has a team in Abuja which consists of “specialists on temporary assignment from a variety of US government agencies who are trying to work on assisting the Nigerian government on this particular case.”

According to him, Boko Haram is exerting a terrible influence and is really a scourge on the Nigerian population.

“And that assistance takes a number of forms. One is intelligence; training, advice on strategic communications, but also victim support services and assistance to those who have suffered under Boko Haram. I think we’ve given upwards of $198m in humanitarian assistance to the populations in Nigeria that have been affected by Boko Haram’s continued attacks, terrorist activity.

“So, we’re looking at ways that we can ramp up our support for Nigeria’s security services and any assistance that we can provide to help the victims of these attacks, whether they’re from the terrorist attacks or kidnap victims as well,” Toner added.
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