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US renews call for release of Nigeria girls


Chibok-school-galsThe United States on Tuesday renewed its appeal to Boko Haram militants to free more than 200 girls kidnapped a year ago in northeastern Nigeria.

On the anniversary of the kidnapping, Washington was calling for “all hostages held by Boko Haram, including these girls, to be released immediately without preconditions,” State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

She confirmed the US still had a team of specialists on the ground in Abuja trying to aid the search for the missing girls.

Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday cautioned he could not make promises on the return of the 219 missing schoolgirls.

But he has vowed to combat Boko Haram more effectively than outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan whom he will succeed on May 29.

Harf said the conduct of the elections and Jonathan’s “statesmanship in accepting the results … bodes well for on-going and future counter-terrorism actions.”

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