More Abductions Stoke Skepticism Of Boko Haram 'Deal'

A cease-fire and a plan for Boko Haram to release more than 200 schoolgirls were announced a week ago, but the group appears to have kidnapped again.
Posted at 11:46 AM, Oct 24, 2014

A resolution to Boko Haram's kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in the spring appears no closer than when the Nigerian government announced it had reached a deal with the militants a week ago.

In fact, skepticism is likely only stronger now as Nigerian media report the terrorist group well-entrenched in the northeast region of the country carried out more kidnappings in the last week.

Reports vary on the number of women taken from two villages, but Nigerian media outlets say Boko Haram abducted 50-80 women last weekend.

A relative of a woman kidnapped told Nigerian newspaper Vanguard, "The insurgents separated the elderly women from the girls and released the women, who are now languishing in the forest because they could not relocate the towns."

The news comes a week after the Nigerian military announced it had reached a cease-fire deal with Boko Haram, which included the release of schoolgirls kidnapped in April from Chibok. Those kidnappings inspired protests worldwide for the government's inability to rescue the girls and led to the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. (Video via CBS)

ABUBAKAR SHEKAU, BOKO HARAM LEADER ON THE NEW YORK TIMES: "Bring back our girls? Oh! Bring back our army!"

The government's brutal tactics in fighting Boko Haram since then have been widely criticized and their effectiveness questioned.

Even after the announcement of the cease-fire, Nigerians didn't seem to put much faith in the deal actually being carried out.

DIBBA BITRUS, ADAMAWA RESIDENT: "It's a very welcome idea if the terrorists are going to be sincere."

Still, as recently as Friday morning, the country mediating negotiations between Nigeria and Boko Haram insisted a deal was close. Conflicting reports on the deal come at a politically sensitive time for President Goodluck Jonathan. The embattled president who's faced heavy criticism in dealing with the militants told his political party this week he will seek re-election in February.

CNN's reporter in the capital Abuja indicated Thursday a divided Boko Haram leadership is causing the confusion.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "The reason we haven't seen a deal completed, so to speak, is because what is happening right now is a process of getting full buy-in from all members of Boko Haram."

As for the latest kidnappings over the weekend, Channels TV reported Thursday the state where the kidnappings happened hadn't been able to confirm the attacks. However, villagers told Vanguard by phone at least 45 girls were still missing.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.