US, UK Knew The Location Of Chibok Girls Shortly After Abduction – Report
knew the whereabouts of 80 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram but were unable to launch a rescue mission for them, Sunday Times of London has reported.
According to the report, videos of the girls have emerged where they were being used as sex slaves.
More than 200 girls have remained missing since 2014 when they were kidnapped by the terrorist group from a boarding school in Chibok while preparing for end-of-year exams.
Although 57 of the 276 girls managed to escape, the rest have not been seen since May 2014, when they appeared in a video reciting verses of the Koran.
But a former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, has said that a large group of the missing girls were spotted but the governments felt any rescue attempt was risky.
He told The Sunday Times that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields.
Pocock said, “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa Forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.’
He said the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.
He said, “A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.”
Pocock said a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance
He added, “You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’
In an investigation by Christina Lamb for the Sunday Times magazine, Pocock said the information was passed to the Nigerian authorities, but they made no request for help.
The magazine has also seen brutal rape videos which show schoolgirls are being used as sex slaves by the terrorists.
Lamb reports: ‘They film schoolgirls being raped over and over again until their screams become silent.’
Some of the girls who managed to escape told Ms Lamb they were kept in ‘women’s prisons’ where they were taught about Islam. Boko Haram fighters would visit and pick their wives.
The girls were powerless to resist as even then the men would be heavily armed. They were shown videos of people being raped, tortured and killed as a threat of what would happen to them if they tried to run away.