According to the Observer, the RAF conducted air reconnaissance over Northern Nigeria for several months, after the girls were abducted in April 2014, in a mission named Operation Turus.
“The girls were located in the first few weeks of the RAF mission,” a source involved in Operation Turus told the Observer.
“We offered to rescue them, but the Nigerian government declined.”
The aircraft continued to track the girls, as they were broken into smaller groups over the following months, the source added.
Notes from meetings between UK and Nigerian officials, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, also suggest that Nigeria shunned international offers to rescue the girls.
“Nigeria’s intelligence and military services must solve the ultimate problem,” Jonathan said in a meeting with the UK’s then Africa minister, Mark Simmonds, on May 15, 2014.
Jonathan has been roundly criticized for failing to act promptly over the kidnappings and after he hit out at the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, labelling it as a “manipulation” of the victims of the attack.
Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima, also publicly criticised Jonathan for failing to even call him or any other state official for 19 days after the kidnappings.
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