The American officials said that the joint forces of the USA and African countries have discovered the whereabouts of the clusters of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the deadly Boko Haram sect two years ago.
However, the rescue operations have not been carried out because of fears that any succeeding battle with the insurgents would put the hostages at risk, or provoke some form of revenge against captives still being held in other areas.
According to the officials, a combination of local intelligence, intercepted communications and drone footage had been used to find groups of the girls this month.
At the same time, they claimed that efforts to free the girls have not been left. The officials said that a key concern is the hundreds of other women and girls who are also held by Boko Haram, captives who are often raped, forced into marriages with their abductors, and sometimes killed.
The retired head of the United States military Africa Command Gen. Carter F. Ham said:
You’re not just looking for 200 girls. There are many, many others who have been taken hostage, and more thousands killed, and two and a half million people displaced. The intelligence reports show that the girls have been separated into smaller groups.
Meanwhile, the head of the military’s Africa Command, Gen. David M. Rodriguez added that:
The Chibok girls have been moved to some very isolated places. Locating them is not an exact science. So the challenge is, how do you find lots of people held hostage in different places? That’s really complex and it stretches the capability of local forces.