Nigeria Won't Negotiate Boko Haram Prisoner Exchange for Kidnapped Girls

PHOTO: Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan, speaks during the World economic forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, May 8, 2014.

ABUJA, NIGERIA -- The Nigerian president said today there will be "no negotiations for a prisoner exchange” with the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram for the return of the more than 250 kidnapped schoolgirls, a British diplomat told ABC News.

In a briefing in Abuja this afternoon, the United Kingdom's Africa Minister Mark Simmons said he had just left a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and that the president indicated the government will not negotiate an exchange.

There are more than 4,000 Boko Haram members in detention, according to the Nigerian Interior Ministry.

Talks Under Way With 'Senior Leaders' of Boko Haram for Return of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Responding to a question from ABC News about whether the West is sharing all relevant intelligence with Nigeria, Simmons said, “We’re working on it." He noted the U.S., U.K. and France are work to coordinate the best way to share intelligence with the Nigerians.

Simmons described a “fusion cell” of officials from various countries working to establish where the girls are and a plan to find them. He said the next step would be to bring them back.

The intelligence picture “is confusing,” Simmons said, noting that the Nigerian intelligence is “often conflicting."

And asked about efforts to find the Boko Haram leader, Simmons said “the priority is finding the girls."

As for military assistance, it's “very unlikely there’ll be U.K. combat troops on the ground," the minister said.

Nigerian Kidnapped Girls Full Coverage

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner is shown here at age 10 in this undated childhood family photo.
Courtesy Linda Thompson
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner celebrates after winning 1500M race during Decathlon at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1976.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PHOTO: A female coyote lay in an animal carrier after being captured by Special Operations officers on Manhattan?s west side, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in New York.
New York City Police Department Special Operations Division via AP