Nigeria gets UK, China satellite help on abducted girls
By Rafiu Ajakaye, Wednesday, May 07, 2014
LAGOS – Nigerian authorities announced on Wednesday that Britain and China had pledged to deploy satellite imaging and tracking technologies to help the country in its search for scores of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants last month in the northern Borno State.
"President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday requested and received a commitment from Britain to deploy its intelligence gathering resources in support of Nigeria’s security agencies currently engaged in the search and rescue operation," presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said in a statement.
He added that Jonathan was promised the deployment of British satellite imaging capabilities and other advanced tracking technologies.
On April 14, militants stormed a school in the town of Chibok, located on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest, a known Boko Haram hideout.
They loaded scores of the schoolgirls onto trucks before driving away unhindered.
The exact number of the abducted schoolgirls, however, still remains dogged by controversy.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abductions in a new video released Monday.
Abati said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is on an official visit to Nigeria, has also offered to assist in the effort to rescue the girls.
"In talks with President Jonathan earlier today, Premier Li Keqiang promised that his country will make any useful information acquired by its satellites and intelligence services available to Nigeria’s security agencies," he said.
"Mr. Keqiang assured the President that China will support Nigeria’s fight against terrorism in every possible way, including the training of military personnel for anti-insurgency operations," added the spokesman.
Jonathan accepted on Tuesday an offer from U.S. President Barack Obama to deploy U.S. security personnel and assets inside Nigeria with the ostensible aim of rescuing the girls.
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