Nigeria rejects swap of Boko Haram prisoners for schoolgirls: UK official
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria’s president has rejected an offer from Islamist rebel group Boko Haram to exchange schoolgirls it abducted for imprisoned militants, but the government is open to broader talks with the rebels, a visiting British minister said.
President Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure to crush the rebels who have killed thousands in their campaign for an Islamist state and to free the girls whose abduction a month ago has sparked global outrage.
Government officials initially said they were exploring all options with respect to the swap proposal and later said they were willing to negotiate with Boko Haram without specifying whether any putative talks might include an exchange for the girls.
Jonathan further refined that position on Wednesday during talks with Britain’s Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds.
“He (Jonathan) made it very clear that there would…
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