- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 11, 2014

Experts say there’s little the Obama administration can do to get back the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Harem until the African country’s government fully opens its doors to assistance.

Despite the outrage sparked by the incident and personal pleas from President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and many others, John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, said there is very little U.S. can do unless it is allowed to by Nigeria.

“The U.S. can provide technical assistance, particularly intelligence, intelligence sharing. It can also provide expertise in things like negotiation strategies, if and when that becomes something which is feasible,” said Mr. Campbell, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“However, for the U.S. to do anything requires the request and acquiescence of the Nigerian government,” Mr. Campbell continued.

Six U.S. military advisers arrived in Nigeria late last week to help with search-and-rescue efforts, but greater American assistance remains dependent on the request of Nigerian leaders.

In the meantime, first lady Michelle Obama and others are making heartfelt appeals for the girls’ return. They were kidnapped by leaders of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which has threatened to sell the girls into slavery.

“I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find these girls and bring them home,” Mrs. Obama said in the weekly White House address, a rare example of someone other than the president delivering the speech.

“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams — and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”



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