According to the Agence France Presse, AFP, the military was on Tuesday accused of ignoring repeated warnings about the movements of Boko Haram fighters before they kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in the country’s restive northeast.
It will be recalled that the students — the youngest of whom is aged just 10 — were seized from the town of Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19 in virtually identical circumstances to those in Chibok in 2014.
Then, more than 200 schoolgirls were taken in an attack that brought sustained world attention on the Islamist insurgency and sparked a global campaign for their release.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called the Dapchi abduction a “national disaster” and vowed to use negotiation rather than force to secure their release.
But as in Chibok nearly four years ago, human rights group Amnesty International claimed the military was warned about the arrival of the heavily-armed jihadists — yet failed to act.
In the hours that followed both attacks, the authorities also tried to claim the girls had not been abducted.
Amnesty’s Nigeria director Osa Ojigho said “no lessons appear to have been learned” from Chibok and called for an immediate probe into what she called “inexcusable security lapses”.
“The government’s failure in this incident must be investigated and the findings made public — and it is absolutely crucial that any investigation focuses on the root causes,” she added.
“Why were insufficient troops available? Why was it decided to withdraw troops? What measures have the government taken to protect schools in northeast Nigeria?
“And what procedures are supposed to be followed in response to an attempted abduction?”
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