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We Don't Know Where Chibok Girls Are - US

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1 We Don't Know Where Chibok Girls Are - US on 30th June 2014, 3:55 pm


The United States said on Friday it had decreased its surveillance
flights in the search for the about 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko
Haram, but added that the overall effort was unchanged due to more
flights by other countries.
It stated that it had no idea of the location of the girls, noting however
that there is no letup in the efforts to locate and rescue them.
“We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where
these girls are, but there’s been no letup of the effort itself,” Pentagon
spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters, according to
Kirby said the same level of effort was being sustained now through
international involvement.
A US defence official speaking on condition of anonymity said American
flights had been reduced only after a body of intelligence had been
gathered and that the cuts had been offset by the British and the
French support.
Kirby denied a suggestion that US flights over Nigeria had been
reduced to accommodate increased US surveillance over Iraq, where
Washington is flying unmanned and manned aircraft to gather
intelligence about Sunni insurgents.
He said some of the resources that were being used in Nigeria had
been diverted from other missions in Africa and could now be used
elsewhere on the continent.
Officials declined to say how long heightened U.S. surveillance over
Nigeria had lasted.
Asked whether it was just a week or two, the defence official said, “No.
We were building this baseline for a good period of time.”
US surveillance flights over Nigeria were now intermittent, the source
US military personnel are in Abuja helping to coordinate the effort, and
some 80 others were sent to Chad in May to support the surveillance
Chad is northeast of Nigeria and borders the area in which Boko Haram
is known to operate.
In the last month, US officials had played down expectations about a
swift rescue of the girls and stressed the limitations of intelligence from
surveillance flights.
One US official voiced concerns that Boko Haram might have bosom-
trapped areas where the girls could be held, and there had been
reports that they might have been split up into groups that were not
being held in one place.
The defence official said surveillance alone would not lead to a
resolution. “It will take the Nigerian piece of the equation with their
own sources and human intelligence coupled with the other forms to
really understand the picture,” he noted.
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Friday, President
Goodluck Jonathan said his government and security services had
“spared no resources, have not stopped and will not stop until the girls
are returned home.”

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