The Nigerian military claims to know the whereabouts of more than 200 girls abducted by Islamist extremists but says a rescue attempt could endanger the lives of the captives.
Badeh assured journalists and relatives of the abducted teens that the rescue operations were ongoing, later adding, “we are working. We will get the girls back.”
Now entering its seventh week, the search-and-rescue operations have become a collaborative effort between Nigeria’s neighboring countries and international powers. Surveillance aircraft and drones have been provided by the US to scour through known Boko Haram strongholds while Israeli, French, and British forces have been offering ground assistance.
Badeh further addressed criticism that the Nigerian military did not possess the ability to locate and retrieve the girls. “Nobody should come and say the Nigerian military does not know what it’s doing. We know what we are doing. We can’t go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back,” he says.
He adds further, “the president (Goodluck Jonathan) is solidly behind us. The president has empowered us to do the work.”
On April 14, 2014, around 300 schoolgirls attending their examinations in a village school were abducted by the insurgent group, Boko Haram, founded in 2002.