Dr Andrew Pocock who is the former British high commissioner to Nigeria has revealed that the United States and the United Kingdom were aware of the whereabouts of 80 of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram but failed to rescue them.
The over 200 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno state by the terrorists in April 2014 and the agitation for their rescue is still on.
In an interview with the Sunday Times of London, Pocock claimed that shortly after the girls were abducted, they were spotted by the UK and the US surveillance but experts felt nothing could be done. He said the western government said the risk in launching a rescue mission was great as the terrorists used the girls as human shields.
He said: “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.”
He said for four weeks, the girls were there but authorities were powerless. He said the intelligence was passed to the government of Goodluck Jonathan but they did not ask for help.
He said: “A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.”
According to Leadership, Dr. Stephen Davis, who has spent several years attempting to negotiate with the terror group described the terrorists as making “ISIS look like playtime” and said it is “beyond belief” that the authorities both in Nigeria and the West do not know where the schoolgirls are.
He ssaid it was incredible that Nigeria and the west were claiming not to know where the girls were.
“How many girls have to be raped and abducted before the West will do anything?”
It was reported that 57 of the girls managed to escape while the location of the rest is still unknown as the search continues.