Now Is Not the Time to Talk About Accountability

[Content Note: Abduction; misogyny; terrorism; abuse.]

It has been two months since more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Two-hundred and nineteen girls still remain missing; of the 57 girls who are home, nearly all of them rescued themselves.

And now, Reuters reports, the Nigerian government has completed its inquiry into the abduction, and refuses to release the results to the public:
Submitting the final report, Brigadier General Ibrahim Sabo said 219 girls remained at large, a total virtually unchanged since Boko Haram militants stormed their secondary school in northeast Borno state on April 14 to kidnap them.

...The government's failure to rescue the girls, or protect them before their abduction, has become a political liability for President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of elections next year.

"We are ... pained that the schoolgirls remain in captivity," Sabo said in a statement. "The hostage situation that this represents is obviously delicate."

The Chibok kidnapping and other increasingly bloody attacks by Boko Haram have underscored Abuja's inability to stamp out the militant group, which aims to carve out a radical Islamist state in the mostly Muslim north.

In what could raise the ire of Jonathan's critics, Sabo recommended the findings of the fact-finding group appointed by the president remain confidential for national security reasons.

Sabo also seemed to try to deflect expected criticism from the government.

"For the Chibok schoolgirls, little will be achieved through finger-pointing," he said in his statement.

"Getting the girls out, and safely, too, is by far more important than the publicity generated by the blame game that has tended to becloud the issue."
All of that sounds familiar. Spin is a global language.

In some sense, it's regrettably true that accountability after the fact might not help the girls who are still missing. But it might prevent or mitigate future abductions, so, you know, there is reason to have a public conversation about accountability, unless Boko Haram is fixing to mass retire as their next move.

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