The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said that it was not involved in negotiating the release of the Dapchi and Chibok school girls.
On Monday, February 19, 2018 Boko Haram invaded Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state and kidnapped over 100 girls.
Also, in April 2014, the sect raided Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state and kidnapped over 200 girls.
According to the Red Cross, reports saying that it was involved in the negotiations for the release of the abducted girls are false.
This was made known to newsmen by the Communication Coordinator of ICRC Nigeria, Aleksandra Mosimann.
Mosimann said that the international organization only played a neutral role as an intermediary.
She said “As a neutral humanitarian organisation, the ICRC cannot play such a role, which would be contrary to our principle of neutrality and is outside our mandate.
“In Nigeria, the ICRC has acted as neutral intermediary on three different occasions: after the release of Chibok girls on 13, October 2016 (21 Chibok girls and a baby); after the release of Chibok girls on 07 ,May 2017 (82 Chibok girls); and after the release on 10, February 2018 (10 women – relatives of the police officers — and three university professors from the University of Maiduguri).”
Red Cross on transported the girls
According to Punch, theRed Cross spokesman also revealed that its role in the talks between Boko Haram and the government was to transport the girls who were released.
“The ICRC was not involved in negotiations leading to the release of any of these persons. We did not visit them prior to their release either. We transported them, upon the request of the parties involved.
“In practice, it worked like this: representatives of the government and armed opposition contacted the ICRC and asked the organisation to receive the released persons in the location indicated to us and hand them over to the Nigerian military.
“This ensured that the two parties did not meet face to face. It also shows trust that both place in the ICRC.”
“The ICRC has also acted as neutral intermediary in cases of released persons in Sudan and Colombia and for the return of dead bodies in Sri Lanka.
“The ICRC’s role of a neutral intermediary is widely recognised world-wide, and an indication of trust that parties to the conflict place in the ICRC,” she added.
Meanwhile, Abubakar Shekau has re-emerged in a new video, calling on his followers to keep up the fight against the ‘infidels’.
Shekau’s long absence fueled speculations about his health and ability to lead the terrorist group.