In light of recent developments in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, US President Barack Obama said 80 military personnel had been deployed to neighbouring Chad to help search for the missing girls.
“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” Mr Obama said in a letter to Congress.
Many parts of restive north-east Nigeria are no-go zones for the military and insurgents operate freely there, correspondents say.
“The force will remain in Chad until its support in resolving the kidnapping situation is no longer required.”
President Barack Obama informed the House speaker and the president of the Senate of the move.
The forces will be involved in maintaining aircraft and analyzing data, but because they are armed, the President is required by law to inform the speaker of the House, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
“These are not combat infantry troops that we put into Chad,” Kirby told CNN's “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Wednesday. “These are folks that are there to support the reconnaissance mission.”
“Just geographically, Chad's a great location to do this from,” Kirby said, adding that the United States has a good relationship with its government.
“The truth is, we don't know exactly where they are,” Kirby said. “We still believe that they've broken up into small groups and dispersed.”
A U.S. Predator drone will now be aiding in the search for the girls, a Pentagon official told CNN. Half of the new group of U.S. troops will be operating the launch and recovery of the unarmed drone on its missions, and half of them will be providing security on the ground in Chad.
Credits: BBC.com | CNN
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