Addis Ababa, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday vowed that Washington will do “everything possible” to help Nigeria deal with Boko Haram militants, following the kidnapping of scores of schoolgirls.
“Let me be clear. The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime,” Kerry said in a policy speech in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.“We will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice. That is our responsibility and the world’s responsibility,” he said.
The US, he added, was “working to strengthen Nigeria’s institutions and its military to combat Boko Haram’s campaign of terror and violence”.Gunmen believed to be Islamist fighters stormed the girls’ boarding school in the country’s northeast nearly three weeks ago, forcing them from their dormitories onto trucks and driving them into the bush after a gun battle with soldiers.Nigerian police on Friday said Boko Haram militants were holding 223 girls of the 276 seized from the school, revising upwards the number of youngsters abducted.The girls’ abduction has triggered global outrage and prompted protests in a number of Nigerian cities, as desperate parents call on the government to secure their release.