Chibok Schoolgirls: Israel offers counter-terrorism experts for rescue mission

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

The team will work with other foreign experts in Nigeria.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday called President Goodluck Jonathan to convey his country’s sympathy and solidarity with Nigeria over the abducted of school girls in Chibok, Borno State.

Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, said Mr. Netanyahu pledged to support Nigeria’s ongoing search and rescue effort by sending a team of Israeli counter-terrorism experts to assist in the operation.

Mr. Abati said Mr. Netanyahu had expressed Israel’s total condemnation of the mass abductions, saying the team of experts from his country would soon arrive in Nigeria.

The team, he said, would collaborate with the teams from the United States and Britain, who are already in the country, to work with their Nigerian counterparts to intensify the search for the girls.

Mr. Abati said the Israeli leader also reaffirmed his country’s willingness to give the government and people of Nigeria all possible support and assistance to overcome terrorism and insecurity.

Mr. Abati said President Jonathan had, during the call briefed Mr. Netanyahu on actions already being taken by Nigeria’s armed forces and security agencies to locate and rescue the girls.

The President had said that Nigeria would be pleased to have Israel’s globally-acknowledged anti-terrorism expertise deployed to support its ongoing operations.

He told his Israeli counterpart that he was optimistic that with the entire international community deploying its considerable military and intelligence-gathering skills and assets in support of Nigeria efforts to find and rescue the abducted Chibok girls, success would soon be achieved.

He said President Jonathan had welcomed the offer by Mr. Netanyahu to send a team of Israeli counter-terrorism experts to assist in the ongoing search and rescue operations.

Meanwhile, rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged the UN Security Council to “move swiftly to impose targeted sanctions against Boko Haram and their backers to end persistent attacks against children and other civilians.”

In a statement dated 11 May 2014 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “By its Resolution 2068 (2012), the UN Security Council has stated its readiness to adopt targeted sanctions against armed groups like Boko Haram that persistently violate the rights of children in armed conflict, including through abduction and attacks on schools.”

“Sanctions send a powerful signal to the perpetrators and contribute to greater compliance with the Council’s agenda on children in armed conflict,” the group added.

According to SERAP, “The Council should consider a broad range of options for increasing pressure on Boko Haram and their backers if it is to contribute to stemming the persistent abuse of children by the extremist group, and assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism. This will certainly increase international action against the impunity with which Boko Haram operates, and may be the turning point to secure the safe return of the missing schoolgirls.”


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