Western Governments Knew Where Chibok Girls Were– Ex-British Envoy To Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Western Governments Knew Where Chibok Girls Were– Ex-British Envoy To Nigeria

Posted: Mar 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)

*****Says no one tried to rescue them

The U.S. and British governments knew where at least 80 of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were but failed to launch a rescue mission, it has been revealed.
Dr Andrew Pocock, the former British high commissioner to Nigeria, has now revealed that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance, but experts felt nothing could be done.

He told The Sunday Times that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields.

Dr Pocock 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 the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.

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.’

He added: ‘You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’

In an investigation by Christina Lamb for the Sunday Times Magazine, Dr Pocock said the information was passed to the Nigerians but they made no request for help.