McCain: Send Special Forces to Rescue Nigerian Girls

Image: McCain: Send Special Forces to Rescue Nigerian Girls

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:44 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The United States should deploy its Special Forces troops to rescue the 200 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, whether or not Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gives his blessing, Arizona Sen. John McCain tells The Daily Beast.

"I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan," McCain said, referring to Nigeria’s president. "I would not be involved in the niceties of getting the Nigerian government to agree, because if we did rescue these people, there would be nothing but gratitude from the Nigerian government, such as it is."

It has been a month since armed gunmen abducted the girls from their boarding school as they slept in Chibok, Nigeria. While President Barack Obama has offered assistance to Nigeria – the United States is providing reconnaissance overflights and satellite imagery to the Nigerian government and has also deployed more than two dozen military advisers to help with the search, according to the Daily Beast, the government there has been historically uncooperative with accepting U.S. assistance, particularly with rooting out Boko Haram, whose name translates to "Western education is sin," according to CNN.

Though the girls’ whereabouts are not known, McCain said the United States ought to have Special Forces positioned to liberate them should the opportunity arise. The abductions constitute "crimes of humanity," according to McCain, and the United Nations Charter provides for international intervention.

"The United Nations Charter recognized crimes against humanity. This fits into the category of crimes against humanity, and that gives any nation the license if they can to stop a crime against humanity, the same reason we should have if we could have freed the people at Dachau or Auschwitz," McCain said.

Boko Haram gunmen "herded the girls" onto trucks before disappearing into Cameroon, a neighboring area considered a safe haven for the group, according to CNN.

The State Department has said that Nigeria’s opposition "was a key factor in their decision to refuse to officially label Boko Haram as a terrorist organization in 2011 and 2012," according to the Daily Beast.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said the girls will be kept until all imprisoned militants are freed, the BBC reported this week. Shekau specified that his offer only referred to the children who had not converted to Islam. Boko Haram said previously that the girls should be married, not attending school.
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