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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 29 June 2022

Nigeria "failed to act" on warnings over Boko Haram kidnappings

Amnesty International says that security forces knew about the attack four hours before it happened.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS said that it has gathered evidence that Nigerian officials ignored warnings that Boko Haram militants would kidnap girls from a school.

Amnesty says that it has verified information from a number of sources that prove that Nigerian security forces knew about a planned raid on the state-run boarding school in Chibok before the Islamist group abducted 243 girls.

“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

“It amounts to a gross dereliction of Nigeria’s duty to protect civilians, who remain sitting ducks for such attacks. The Nigerian leadership must now use all lawful means at their disposal to secure the girls’ safe release and ensure nothing like this can happen again.”

Amnesty say they have confirmed through various sources that Nigeria’s military headquarters in Maiduguri was aware of the impending attack soon after 7:00 PM on 14 April, close to four hours before Boko Haram began their assault on the town.

But an inability to muster troops – due to poor resources and a reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped armed groups – meant that reinforcements were not deployed to Chibok that night. The small contingent of security forces based in the town – 17 army personnel as well as local police –attempted to repel the Boko Haram assault but were overpowered and forced to retreat.

One soldier reportedly died.

Read: US offers help as UNICEF condemns Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings

Read: Abducted schoolgirls: Michelle Obama to deliver White House address

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