ABUJA, Nigeria, May 13, 2014— -- Talks are underway between Nigerian officials and senior leadership of Boko Haram, the chairman of the Nigerian president’s Boko Haram “Dialogue Committee” confirmed exclusively to ABC News.
Kabiru Tanimu Turaki would neither confirm nor deny that the talks are with the specific individuals holding the kidnapped girls, only the group’s senior leaders.
Turaki made a distinction between “talking” and “negotiating,” saying at this point the sides are not negotiating for the return of the imprisoned group members in exchange for the schoolgirls. There are more than 4,000 Boko Haram members in detention, according to the Nigerian Interior Ministry.
Turaki says he is confident that a peaceful, negotiated solution can be found.
The development comes one day after the Islamic terrorist group released video purportedly showing about 100 of the 276 girls kidnapped last month. The search for the girls now includes U.S. surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.