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Nigeria’s president says no prisoner swap for missing girls: British minister

Published on May 15, 2014 6:26 AM
President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan (right), looks on as former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (left) speaks to journalists in Abuja, Nigeria, on 09 May 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

ABUJA (AFP) - Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has ruled out freeing Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls, British minister Mark Simmonds said on Wednesday.

Africa minister Simmonds, in Nigeria for talks about the international rescue mission, said he raised the issue with Mr Jonathan during a meeting in Abuja.

“I did discuss this with the president and he made it very clear that there will be no negotiation with Boko Haram that involves a swap of abducted schoolgirls for prisoners,” he told reporters in the country’s capital.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau suggested in a video released on Monday that he may be prepared to release the girls if Nigeria freed militant fighters held in the country’s jails.

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