Nigeria Says It's Found Missing Girls but Won't Use Force or Negotiation to Free Them

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 27 2014 11:04 AM

Nigeria Says It's Found Missing Girls but Won't Use Force or Negotiation to Free Them

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Protests in Abuja, Nigeria last week.

WOLE EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty Images

The good: Nigerian authorities claim they know where the 200-plus teenage girls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram are being held, and apparently some progress was made toward negotiating their release. The bad: negotiations were abandoned and further talks have been ruled out, while the government also says it won't use force to rescue the captives, leaving the situation seemingly irresolvable.

...a source close to the talks told CBS News that a deal to swap the girls for Boko Haram prisoners secured over the weekend was scuttled at the last minute by President Goodluck Jonathan...
Nigeria's government has presented a confused stance on negotiations with Boko Haram. A government minister said all options were on the table to find and free the girls nabbed in a brazen raid on their school in the village of Chibok, but Jonathan himself later told British officials there would be no negotiations with terrorists.
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The country's "chief of defense staff" commented about the location of the captives and the impracticality of using force in an impromptu meeting with press and protestors yesterday. From the Los Angeles Times:

"The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you," he said.
Badeh ruled out a forceful military operation to free the girls, amid reports of secret negotiations to secure their release.

"We can't go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back," he said after demonstrators marched to military headquarters in Abuja, the capital, a few days after trying to march to President Goodluck Jonathan's office. He met demonstrators and spoke to journalists.

Meanwhile, Reuters notes, at least 470 Nigerian civilians have been killed in other terror attacks since the kidnapping.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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