The New York Times, reporting from Maroua Cameroon have said the American and African forces sent to fight Boko Haram have, on several occasions, located clusters of schoolgirls kidnapped by the militant group two years ago, United States officials say.
Rescue operations have not been carried out, the officials said, because of fears that any ensuing battle with Boko Haram fighters would put the captives at risk, or recite retaliation against hostages still being held in other areas.
American officials, said a combination of local intelligence, intercepted communications, and drone footage had been used to locate groups of the 276 girls abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Chibok two years ago this month. Some of the girls have since been tracked to Nigeria’s sprawling Sambisa Forest.
Officials insist that efforts to free girls have not been abandoned. They say that a major concern is hundreds of other women and girls who are also held by Boko Haram, captives who are often sexually assaulted, forced into marriages with their tormentors and sometimes killed.
“You’re not just looking at 200 girls, said General Carter F. Ham, the retired head of the United States military Africa Command. “There are many, many others who have been taken hostage, and more, thousands killed, and two and a half million people displaced.”
(Source: New York Times)