Daily Trust (Abuja)

9 May 2014

Nigeria: U.S. Envoy Meets Security Operatives On Rescue Mission

Israel offered Nigeria help on Sunday in locating 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by Islamist rebel group Boko Haram in an attack that has drawn ... ( Resource: Israel Offers To Help Nigeria Find Abducted Girls

Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, said he has commenced discussion with Nigeria security officials on a rescue operation for the over 200 abducted girls in Chibok, Borno state.

He said a US security team will arrive Nigeria soon for the operation but could not say how long they are going to stay.

This is as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said the security situation will affect education in the North.

They both spoke at a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night which was convened by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, Mr. Rajif Shah, on plan to rescue the abducted girls.

"This afternoon I was in a discussion with some of your security officials to discuss the details of exactly what our team might look like," Entwistle said.

"I cannot give you all the details now but we are in the process of putting together a team. Nigeria security officials have told me what you need and I am hopeful that the team will be on ground shortly."

He said the US assistance will be limited to the rescue of the girls after which the team will go back.

On whether there will be drone deployment, the envoy said, "there is a possibility of a drone action during the rescue operation but we are working out the details."

"The US security team will include several US agencies," he said.

Earlier, Governor Aliyu welcomed US offer to assist in the rescue of the abducted girls. He lamented that the ongoing insurgency would adversely affect education in the northern part.

"We welcome US assistance in rescuing the girls because if we fail to do that, it will take education back for 50 years as some parents may decide not to take their children to school again. North is a region where we beg them to go to school," he said.

USAID Administrator, Mr. Rajif Shah, said the US was committed to providing assistance to five northern states in the area of education, agriculture and poverty reduction.

Present at the meeting were Governors Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Muktar Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Idris Wada (Kogi), Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Acting Governor of Taraba Garba Umar, Deputy Governors of Benue and Kano states, among others.

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