Can’t say that I’m surprised to hear the latest news that Nigerian officials had more than plenty warning that Boko Haram was on their way to take the young girls and women from their boarding school in Chibok. The attitude of the Nigerian government since the story broke has been one of ambivalence. Now we have the facts and eyewitness reports to back it up.
Nigerian security forces had hours of advance warning that hundreds of schoolgirls were in danger of abduction, but left the girls as “sitting ducks” out of fear of Boko Haram’s greater firepower, Amnesty International revealed Friday.
The Nigerian military sent no troops despite multiple civilian reports from four hours before the abduction that a convoy of armed men was bearing down on the town of Chibok, where the girls were asleep in their boarding-school dorms, the London-based human rights group said.
The armed men — their numbers estimated at 200 — were even stopping herdsmen along the way, asking specifically: Where is the girls’ school?
“It amounts to a gross dereliction of Nigeria’s duty to protect civilians, who remain sitting ducks for such attacks,” Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director, said on the Web site Amnesty.org.
Two senior military officers confirmed to the aid group that civilians had called in multiple alerts that the extremists were mobilizing.
The officers blamed their failure to send troops on their lack of resources and a fear of engaging with the well-equipped rebels.
“There’s a lot of frustration, exhaustion and fatigue among officers and [troops] based in the hot spots,” one officer told Amnesty International. “Many soldiers are afraid to go to the battle fronts.”
The first panicked warning calls had come in to the Nigerian military at 7 p.m. on April 14, Amnesty International reported, citing multiple interviews with civilians and military officials.
Civilian patrols in a neighboring village had repeatedly sounded the alarm in phone calls to regional and military authorities, but to no avail, the group reported. Even neighboring herdsmen called in to warn of the terrifying convoy.
Officials repeatedly lied that reinforcements were on the way, residents told Amnesty .
Instead, the existing contingent of just 17 soldiers were left alone to defend the state-run school as the extremists descended just before midnight.
The 17 soldiers, plus a small number of local police, bravely repelled the attack for more than an hour before running out of ammunition and retreating.
Surviving girls have told The Associated Press that when the gunfire died down, and the uniform-clad extremists entered the school, they pretended at first to be Nigerian military.
Only after the girls had been escorted outside and the men began burning the school and shouting, “Allahu akbar,” did they realize there had been no rescue.
“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime,” Amnesty International said on its web site.
If we now know that Nigeria let Boko Haram kidnap the girls despite warnings, it’s also possible that the girls could have been apart of some prearranged deal with the government. When you’ve got a camp full of terrorists who need females and you’ve got connections with the government then making a deal for the girls in exchange for not attacking this village or that village seems plausible. What do you all think? Think the Nigerian government bartered with Boko Haram for the girls?
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