Update: Nigerian defense chief claims missing girls have been located
According to Nigerian officials, a group of more than 200 missing school girls who were abducted by Nigerian extremist last month have been located.
But Air Marshal Alex Bedeh told demonstrators that the fear of using force could get the girls killed.
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?” he asked. “They will die,” the demonstrators responded.
Negotiation appears to be the sole option, with Boko Haram militants demanding that members of the terror group who are being held be released from prison in exchange for the girls.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told British officials that he would not agree to an exchange.
Nigerian’s government has faced international outrage and criticism of their handling of the missing girls. It wasn’t until two weeks after the girls, who were abducted from a school in Northern Nigerian on April 14, went missing that the rest of the world even knew of the incident.
France, the United States, China and the United Kingdom have all stepped in to aid in the search.
Check back for updates.
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