Nigeria says they know where kidnapped girls are
No doubt the Nigerian military has also sighted Elvis.
Nigeria's military has located nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists but fears using force to try to free them could get them killed, the country's chief of defense said Monday.
Air Marshal Alex Badeh told demonstrators supporting the much criticized military that Nigerian troops can save the girls. But he added, "we can't go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back."
He spoke to thousands of demonstrators who marched to Defense Ministry headquarters in Abuja, the capital. Many were brought in on buses, indicating it was an organized event.
Asked by reporters where they had found the girls, Badeh refused to elaborate.
"We want our girls back. I can tell you we can do it. Our military can do it. But where they are held, can we go with force?" he asked the crowd.
People roared back, "No!"
"If we go with force what will happen?" Badeh asked.
"They will die," the demonstrators responded.
That appeared to leave negotiation the sole option, but a human rights activist close to negotiators said a deal to swap the girls for detained Boko Haram members was agreed last week and then scuttled at the last minute by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The activist who is close to those mediating between Boko Haram extremists and government officials said the girls would have been freed last week Monday.
Jonathan had already told British officials that he would not consider an exchange. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Nigeria's military and government have faced national and international outrage over their failure to rescue the girls seized by Boko Haram militants from a remote northeastern school six weeks ago.
President Jonathan was forced this month to accept international help. American planes have been searching for the girls and Britain, France, Israel and other countries have sent experts in surveillance and hostage negotiation.
A U.S. Defense Department spokesman said the department cannot confirm the reports about the Nigerian girls at this point. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation, spoke on background.
What are the chances that the Nigerian military has actually, truly discovered the location of all 300 missing school girls? About as good as Elvis walking out of the desert in Las Vegas, onto the stage of the Luxor to perform "Blue Suede Shoes." The defense minister is facing thousands of hostile demonstrators. What is he going to say? They don't have a clue where the girls are?
That's not to say he doesn't have a point. Any effort to rescue the girls will probably result in a slaughter. But since President Jonathan has ruled out a prisoner swap, just how are the girls going to make their way back to their parents and loved ones?
Johnathan may not have a choice. And he better hurry and make up his mind. It's rumored that Michelle Obama is coming up with a new hashtag campaign that will smite Boko Haram, strike fear in the hearts of the Nigerian government, and bring about world peace.
#bring back our girls right now