Kidnapped Nigerian girls may never come back, says former UK prime minister and former Nigerian president
Former UK and Nigerian leaders have voiced concerns that the Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group two months ago may never be rescued.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in stating that the likelihood of all of the girls coming home is nearly zero.
"As the world's attention shifts to other global trouble spots, such as Iraq," Brown wrote in Project Syndicate on Sunday, "intense international scrutiny is giving way to what seems like silent acceptance of the girls' fate."
The kidnapping of 276 girls from a school in Chibok caused an international outcry and worldwide protests demanding that Boko Haram "Bring Back Our Girls." Although the Nigerian military announced last month that they know where the girls are, they have not yet decided how to rescue them.
Brown also discussed the likelihood that the over 200 still missing girls have been divided into smaller groups, making a tactical response more difficult.
"It is likely that in the month since Boko Haram released a video of the girls flanked by gunmen, the girls have been split into groups of 40-50," Brown wrote. "If one group is rescued by force, the others will be murdered, creating a serious tactical dilemma for the Nigerian government's special forces."
Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo voiced similar concerns in a Thursday interview.
"'If you get all of them back, I will consider it a near-miracle... Do you think they [Boko Haram] will hold all of them together up till now?" he asked, according to the Premium Times.
"The logistics for them to do that, holding over 200 girls together, is too much. If the administration had acted quickly, we could have rescued them."
Obasanjo also said that the chances of bringing all of the girls home is slim.
"I believe that some of them will never return," he told the BBC. "We will still be hearing about them many years from now."