Chibok girls: Nigeria knew of raid ahead of time, failed to act
Nigeria’s military had advance warning of the attack on a school at which some 270 girls were kidnapped but failed to act, Amnesty International says.
The human rights group says it was told by credible sources that the military had more than four hours’ warning of the raid by Boko Haram militants.
BBC reports that fifty-three of the girls escaped soon after being seized in Borno state on 14 April but more than 200 remain captive.
According to the Federal government ” the veracity of the Amnesty report is doubtful”
“If the government was aware (beforehand) there would have been an intervention (against the militants),” Information Minister Labaran Maku said, speaking on BBC World TV.
However, he said the authorities would still investigate the claims.
Amnesty says it was told by several people that the military in Maiduguri, capital of north-east Borno state, was informed of the impending attack soon after 19:00 local time.
Despite the warning, reinforcements were not sent to help protect the school in the remote Chibok area, which was attacked at around midnight, Amnesty says.
One reason, the rights group says, was a “reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped armed groups”.
In its report, Amnesty International said the failure of the Nigerian security forces to stop the raid – despite knowing about it in advance – will “amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime”.
The organisation’s Africa Director Netsanet Belay said it amounted to a “gross dereliction of Nigeria’s duty to protect civilians” and called on the leadership to “use all lawful means at their disposal to secure the girls’ safe release and ensure nothing like this can happen again”.
Boko Haram has admitted capturing the girls, saying they should not have been in school and should get married instead.
In a video released earlier this week, leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to “sell” the students.
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