Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, says force should be used to free over 200 school girls who have been abducted by Boko Haram militants in Borno State, Nigeria .
Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kofi Annan described the abduction of the girls as tragic.
The former world leader said he was appalled by a video in which Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, was heard boasting about being behind the abductions.
In the video, Shekau threatened to use the girls as slaves and warned that similar attacks would be carried out.
"You are all in danger, I mean all of you. I am the one who captured all those girls and will sell all of them. I have a market where I sell human beings because it is Allah that says I should sell human beings. Yes, I will sell women, because I sell women," he said.
"I captured and abducted girls in a Western school, and it became a worrying issue for all of you. You have forgotten that I have said that it is not only girls'
I am against. I am against everyone who attends a Western school. Girls should go and marry," the notorious terrorist added.
Kofi Annan, who had always favoured diplomacy ahead of force, said it was clear that force had to be used to rescue the girls.
"I believe now it is very clear that security forces should be used to try to free these girls," he said.
Kofi Annan added that the security operation should also aim at eliminating Boko Haram's ability to threaten or harm the Nigerian populace.
The terrorist group has recently gone on rampage in Nigeria, following up the abduction of the schoolgirls with two deadly bomb attacks in the capital, Abuja, killing about forty people.
The deteriorating security situation prompted President Mahama to fly to Abuja to seek a solution to the crisis.
In Abuja, President Mahama, who is currently ECOWAS Chairman, expressed outrage at what he described as the “acts of terror” that have been “waged against the Nigerian people."
“The destabilisation of any nation in the West African sub-region is a threat to the security of all the other surrounding nations,” he said, pledging that Ghana will help to “dismantle the Boko Haram terrorist organisation” and help “free the kidnapped schoolgirls and return them to their homes and families.”
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