Monday, June 2, 2014

Chibok Girls Ill and Spread in Several Countries - Boko Haram Hostage Negotiator Reveals

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There were reports earlier that some of the abducted Chibok school girls had died from snake bites and worse. Now with negotiations on-going, some are said to be very ill, while most are spread across Niger, Cameroon and Chad. This is according to Australian cleric Stephen Davis, who was hired by President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as a hostage negotiator to bring back the girls. Davis has also ruled out the possibility of the girls being released in one rescue operation.

Punch reports.

The Perth-born Australian described how fraught the negotiation process had been but expressed optimism that the girls would be freed.

He said, ‘One of that small group of girls is ill and we had hoped we might convince the commander of the group holding her that she should be released so we could give her medical treatment.

‘There are other girls who are not well and we have come close to having them released but their captors fear a trap in which they will be captured in the handover process.

‘One girl has what I assume is a broken wrist as they demonstrate to me how she holds her hand. I have been told that others are sick and in need of medical attention.

“But I am encouraged by the progress. Every day there is the possibility of the release of the girls.

‘This is painful for the parents and the nation. The well-being of the girls is constantly on our minds and we want to see their release as soon as possible.”

The secret negotiator however ruled out the possibility of a rescue since the girls were not being held in one location.

He said, “There are several groups to deal with as the girls are held in several camps across the Nigerian border in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. This makes any thought of a rescue highly improbable. To attempt to rescue one group would only endanger the others. We must not endanger their lives any further.

“The vast majority of the Chibok girls are not being held in Nigeria.

“I say the ‘vast majority’as I know a small group was confirmed to me to be in Nigeria last week when we sought to have them released.”

Explaining   that he had been to military positions in the North-East in recent days, he said, ‘the troops and their field commanders are doing all that can be done at this point.”

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