US, UK search experts arrive Nigeria
Experts from the United States of America and the United Kingdom have arrived in Nigeria to help in the search for the more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
The experts include military advisers, negotiators and counsellors.
The UK Foreign Office said the British experts arrived Abuja yesterday and would be working closely with their US counterparts.
“A team of UK experts who will advise and support Nigerian authorities in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls touched down in Abuja Friday morning,” a spokesperson stated.
“The team is drawn from across government and will work with the Nigerian authorities leading on the abductions and terrorism in Nigeria. The team will be considering not just the recent incidents but also longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram.”
Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Our inter-agency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now and they are going to be working in concert with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls to their families and their communities.
“We are also going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram,” he said.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama said the team comprised personnel from military, law enforcement and other agencies.
He said he hoped the kidnapping would galvanise the international community to take action against Boko Haram.
The British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, yesterday dismissed claims the global community is patronising the Nigerian government over its handling of the kidnapping.
The PM was asked about comments from a Nigerian government spokesman who said criticism of the government’s response was “unfair” and “patronising.”
Cameron said: “We want to work with them to help.”
He added: “I think it’s quite unfair to talk down to a concerned government like that. It’s really, really unfair. I take very, very serious exception to that kind of language and in such a very patronising way.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Cameron said the UK government wants “to work with” Nigerian officials to help in the search, saying the UK had offered help immediately after the abductions.
He said it was “an extremely difficult situation,” adding that the decision to send UK experts to offer advice and logistical support came after a request from President Goodluck Jonathan.
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