by Oge Okonkwo
On Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the US secretary of state, John Kerry offered support to Nigeria on behalf of the US government saying that the country will do everything to rescue the children and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Kerry was in Ethiopia during a 3-day visit to African countries to participate in the fourth session of the US-Africa Union High Level Dialogue involving top American groups, including pastors, business investors and public officials.
Kerry has not been the only international figure showing a keen interest in the Chibok abduction, members of the US Congress have also been very interested. A bi-partisan resolution was was issued last week in the US senate condemning the kidnap, calling for an urgent rescue and demanding that justice must be done to the terrorists behind the abduction.
Last Friday, US Congresswoman, Karen Bass, also released a statement on the issue calling for the release of the Chibok girls.
Read his statement below:
Speaking in Ethiopia, Kerry said, “Let me be clear, the kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice.
“I will tell you, my friends, I have seen this scourge of terror across the planet, and so have you. They don’t offer anything except violence. They don’t offer a healthcare plan; they don’t offer schools. They don’t tell you how to build a nation; they don’t talk about how they will provide jobs. They just tell people, ‘You have to behave the way we tell you to,’ and they will punish you if you don’t.”
He said while there are some good things to celebrate in Africa, “we are also meeting at a time of continued crisis. Conflicts in South Sudan, which I visited yesterday, Central African Republic, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the events that we’ve just seen in Nigeria, these are among some of the things that are preventing millions of Africans from realising their full potential. And in some places, they are plunging the continent back into the turmoil of the past.”
Kerry stated that the US government was working to strengthen Nigeria’s institutions and its military to combat Boko Haram, and their campaign of terror and violence.