NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
6 May, 2014
The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague,has reiterated an offer by UK to help Nigeria find the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno. This is contained in a statement circulated to journalists in Abuja by the British High Commission in Nigeria on Tuesday.
It said Hague spoke on Tuesday at a Council of Europe meeting in Vienna, Austria. Boko Haram, through its leader Abubakar Shekau, on Monday claimed responsibility for taking the girls. According to the Nigeria police, 53 of the girls have managed to escape from the insurgents while 223 of them are still being held.
“I called the Nigerian Foreign Minister when this first arose, back on Good Friday, to offer help from Britain. “Our High Commissioner will continue to discuss that with the Nigerians.
“Britain is offering assistance but of course the primary responsibility will rest with the Nigerians, and I hope they will do what is necessary to reunite these girls with their families. “Using girls as the spoils of war and the spoils of terrorism is disgusting and immoral. “It should show everybody across the world that they should not give any support for such a vile organisation,’’ the statement said.
It also quoted Hague as saying that UK had set up the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and a global summit on the issue would hold in London next month. According to the statement, the summit will help countries, including Nigeria, improve the way they tackle the consequences of sexual violence in conflict and bring those responsible to justice.
On Monday, the U.S. said it considered the kidnapping to be an “outrage”.White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama has been briefed on the kidnapping by his national security team.
The U.S. expressed concern that many of the schoolgirls had been smuggled abroad. The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf shared the U.S. assessment after local officials in northeastern Nigeria said the girls had likely been taken to nearby Chad or Cameroon.