ChibokGirls: US to invove a third party to negotiate with BokoHaram

Global attention, especially from the US, on rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls has now shifted significantly to the possibility of negotiations with
the Boko Haram terrorists.

Speaking during the week at an online session with journalists in Africa, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield disclosed,

“we have individuals there (in Nigeria) from the civilian side who can provide assistance on negotiations.”

It is believed that this was an indication that negotiations to secure the release of the girls are likely underway without a
direct military action.

Generally, the issue of negotiations with terrorists — specifically on the over 200
abducted Nigerian schoolgirls — has remained a very sensitive subject.

There were reports that the Federal Government has made aborted attempts in the recent past to negotiate for the release of the abducted girls.

Besides,the Nigerian military itself has
said it cannot possibly storm the location of the girls so as not to endanger the lives of the schoolgirls.

While the US does not officially negotiate with terrorists, the option of going through a credible third party was explored by the Americans leading recently to freedom of the country’s Prisoner of War, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl from
Afghanistan.

Although the top US official for Africa did not explain why the US sent potential negotiators to help Nigeria in the case of the Chibok girls, there are US politicians who have been publicly advocating in local US Bringbackourgirls rallies for such negotiations, while
others oppose such.

Beside the hint of American negotiators in Nigeria, the US Assistant Secretary of State, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, could not
offer any specific update on the role of the American government except to repeat the promises made by both the US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry about two
months ago.

At the online media interaction on Wednesday with US reporters on Africa and reporters from Africa, she was specifically asked: “What happened to the U.S. efforts regarding the seizure
of about 200 girls in Nigeria by
the Boko Haram?

She initially expressed surprise that the question came late during the press interaction but merely added that “as you know, both President Obama and
Secretary Kerry indicated that we are going to work closely with the Government of Nigeria as well as countries in the region to do everything possible to bring these girls home.

“We are working with the Nigerian Government, both on the security side, but also in addressing broader issues
related to the girls.”

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