Warned of Boko Haram, Nigerian security lapses helped schoolgirls' abduction - Amnesty

Nigeria's deal with militants frees over 100 schoolgirls

Warned of Boko Haram, Nigerian security lapses helped schoolgirls' abduction - Amnesty

The rights group cited security sources, parents and others as saying the military and police received at least five calls in the hours before the attack, which reminded numerous abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok by Boko Haram extremists in 2014. People in Gumsa called Dapchi villagers to warn them that Boko Haram fighters were on their way.

"The question Amnesty International has not answered satisfactorily is; which of the security forces and what unit was informed that a convoy of Boko Haram fighters heading towards Dapchi where they abducted Dapchi school girls?"

"Why were insufficient troops available?"

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". "Why was it made a decision to withdraw troops?", Ojigho asked. He said if Amnesty had important information, the watchdog should notify a presidential panel set up in the wake of Dapchi to investigate the incident.

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There was no immediate response from the Nigerian military when contacted by AFP.

"For the avoidance of doubts, no security force was informed of Dapchi schoolgirls abduction as alleged by Amnesty International. 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".

A police source in Dapchi also told the group that on sighting them, police officers fled because they feared that the Boko Haram fighters would overpower them.

Parents and educators in Africa's most populous country have raised an outcry in response to the attack, demanding better security for schools in the vast region where Boko Haram's Islamic extremists have kidnapped thousands of people over almost a decade.

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The abduction was a repeat of another Boko Haram attack that happened when militants invaded Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State and kidnapped 276 female students in April 2014. While some escaped and many others were released as part of negotiations, about 100 remain with their captors.

NAIJ.com also reported that Muhammadu Gana, the commandant-general, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said over 2,000 personnel have so far been deployed to provide physical security to schools in the northeast.

Analysts have attributed a financial motive to the Dapchi kidnapping given government ransom payments made to Boko Haram to secure the release of some of the captives from Chibok.

AI noted that after the abduction of girls in Chibok, the Safe Schools Initiative (SSI) was introduced and it is now coordinated by the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, but argued that there was no framework to prevent further abductions.

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