US to help Nigeria rescue schoolgirls

US Secretary of State John Kerry has vowed that

Washington will do "everything possible" to help

Nigeria deal with the armed group Boko Haram,

following the kidnapping of scores of schoolgirls.

"Let me be clear. The kidnapping of hundreds of

children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable

crime," Kerry said in a policy speech in the

Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday.

"We will do everything possible to support the

Nigerian government to return these young

women to their homes and hold the

perpetrators to justice. That is our responsibility

and the world's responsibility," Kerry said.

The US, he said, was "working to strengthen

Nigeria's institutions and its military to combat

Boko Haram's campaign of terror and violence".

The schoolgirls were abducted by gunmen from

the Chibok Government Girls' Secondary School

school in Nigeria's Borno state on Tuesday last


Nigerian police on Friday said Boko Haram was

holding 223 girls of the 276 seized from the

school, revising upwards the number of

youngsters abducted.

The girls' abduction has triggered global outrage

and prompted protests in a number of Nigerian

cities, as desperate parents call on the

government to secure their release.

More than 200 people also held a rally on

Saturday in front of Washington's Lincoln

Memorial to bring attention to the girls' plight.

'No effort' to rescue girls

Nigerian mothers on Saturday vowed to hold

more protests to push for a greater rescue

effort from the authorities.

"We need to sustain the message and the

pressure on political and military authorities to

do everything in their power to ensure these

girls are freed," Nigerian protest organiser

Hadiza Bala Usman told AFP.

She said that women and mothers would on

Tuesday march to the offices of the defence

minister and chief of defence staff "to ask them

what they are doing to rescue our daughters".

"We believe there is little or no effort for now

on the part of the military and government to

rescue these abducted girls, who are languishing

in some dingy forest," she said.

Nigeria's information minister, Labaran Maku,

said on Friday that Goodluck Jonathan, the

Nigerian president, had chaired a top-level

meeting with military and security chiefs about

a possible rescue mission.

The mass kidnapping is one of the most

shocking attacks in Boko Haram's five-year

offensive, which has killed thousands across the

north and centre of the country, including

1,500 people this year alone.

Boko Haram, an armed group whose name

means "Western education is sinful", is fighting

what it calls Western influence and wants to

form an Islamic state in Africa's largest oil

producer country.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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