KANO (NIGERIA), — Nigeria is negotiating with the help of “foreign entities” for the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls held by Boko Haram Islamists, a presidential spokesman said.
As the country prepares to mark the third anniversary of the mass kidnapping on Friday April 14, Garba Shehu said in a radio interview there were ongoing negotiations to release the 195 girls believed still being held by Boko Haram.
“Talks are ongoing through other means with the help of some foreign entities to free more schoolgirls,” Shehu said.
“These talks are going on with the help of some countries. You can recall the 21 schoolgirls were freed with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Swiss government officials who got involved in the negotiations. These two have not withdrawn their support in the negotiations,” Shehu said.
“There are also other countries that are lending support to the negotiations by being involved in the talks,” Shehu added.
In October last year, 21 girls were freed after negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government brokered by the ICRC and the Swiss government, said the presidency.
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), said the Nigerian Air Force conducts daily missions to locate and rescue the Chibok girls still in captivity, Daily Trust reports.
Abubakar who spoke to journalists shortly after a special Juma’at prayer to kickstart activities for the 53rd anniversary of the Air Force, said the service is passionate about rescuing the Chibok girls.
He said: “There is no day that the sun rises and sets that we do not go out hoping to locate the Chibok girls.” “If you look at the totality of all our operations, almost 60 percent of the total hours we have flown in the North East are dedicated to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.”
The chief of air staff added that it is through intelligence gathering that the service is going to try to locate not only the Chibok girls but many other Nigerians that are in captivity.
On the night of April 14, 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped in a girls secondary school in Chibok community, Borno state. Since that day, 57 escaped, 21 rescued and a further 195 are still in captivity.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that his government is currently negotiating with the Boko Haram insurgents for the release of the remaining Chibok girls.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK