Nigeria admits kidnapped school girls still missing

MAIDUGURI: The Nigerian military admitted yesterday escaped from the Islamists. “At the moment we have were free, residents said. Others decided to scour the that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram taken custody of 30 girls,” Mallam Inuwa Kubo said in a remote area in a desperate search for girls who may Islamists in a shocking school raid in the country’s statement. “The aim is for us to take proper account of have escaped. “Some of our parents are even combing restive northeast remained missing. A security source our 129 students who were at the hostel on the day of the bush,” Kwambura said, adding that families had said there were fears the girls were being used as that unfortunate attack,” he said. pooled money to buy fuel for motorcycles and other human shields or sex slaves by the Islamists. “By our records, of 129 students at the hostel at the vehicles to help with the search. Boko Haram’s name The military had claimed on Wednesday that all but time of that unfortunate incident, we are expecting loosely translates as “Western education is forbidden” eight of the girls snatched from their school in the state the return of about 99 students.” The mass abduction and the group has repeatedly attacked schools and uni- of Borno managed to escape the gunmen’s clutches, sparked global outrage and came just hours after the versities. Students have been massacred in their dormi- contrary to comments by the state government and the deadliest attack to hit the capital Abuja, where a tories and bombs set off at university campuses, but the school principal. “The defense headquarters wishes to bomb blast also blamed on Boko Haram killed at least mass abduction specifically targeting girls is unprece- defer to the school principal and governor’s statement 75 people. dented. A top security officer said the girls might have on the number of students still missing,” defense min- been abducted by the Islamists to serve as human istry spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement. Parents scour bush shields, domestic helpers and sex slaves. He said vigilante groups and hunters were assisting Boko Haram’s extremist uprising, aimed at creating a “The terrorists are desperate for survival. The military the authorities in the frantic search for the girls, who strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has killed thou- offensive is taking a heavy toll on their rank and file,” the were grabbed from the Government Girls Secondary sands of people since 2009. Parents of the missing girls officer, who did not want to be named, told AFP. “The School in the Chibok area of Borno late Monday. Borno swarmed the home of Chibok’s tribal chief on Thursday, female hostages are being used as shield during battles state education commissioner said that 30 girls had now demanding answers after the military claimed the girls with the military.—AFP

Russia’s culture policy is weapon against West : The Kremlin is preparing a new culture policy for focusing on its distinctive civilization and traditional val- ues, which observers say has political ends amid Moscow’s stand- off with the West. At the end of four hours of questions Thursday in his annual call-in, President Vladimir Putin waxed philosophical on what it means to be Russian. Russians not only have their own “cultural code,” he said, they also have a unique moral outlook- unlike Westerners, Russians are selfless and prone to self-sacrifice. “These are the deep roots of our patriotism,” Putin said. Tapping into perceived “traditional cultural values” of Russian civ- ilization, the culture ministry is drawing up a government strate- gy that observers say has all the trappings of a new state ideolo- gy, echoing Soviet legacy. The authors preparing the document, who are kept secret, believe that such a policy must be based on the thesis that “Russia is not Europe” and generously quote from Putin’s speeches. The policy states Russia is at a historical crossroads and must make a choice between cultural extinction or the preservation of SLAVIANSK: A man wearing military fatigue stands guard outside a regional administration building seized by pro- its unique “moral and spiritual foundations,” which can only be Russian separatists yesterday. — AFP done with a “state culture policy.” An early version of the docu- ment has been leaked to the press and is currently being exam- ined by a Kremlin working group chaired by one of President separatists Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, a former KGB agent recently blacklisted by the . “Russia is an ancient, independent, distinctive civilization,” cul- ture minister Vladimir Medinsky said at a press conference reject deal to disarm Wednesday. In an interview with the Kommersant daily, Medinsky further added that Russia “is forced to culturally protect itself” from the what he sees as the depravities of Europe’s con- temporary culture. “Perhaps Russia will be the last keeper of Kiev’s Maidan says it won’t budge either European culture, Christian values and truly European civilisa- tion,” said Medinsky. SLAVIANSK/DONETSK: Armed pro-Russian because of the deep mistrust between the how to respond to the Geneva agreement. separatists in eastern Ukraine said yesterday pro-Russian groups and the Western- Anatoly, one of the armed separatists ‘Russia is not Europe’ they were not bound by an international backed government in Kiev. This week has who have taken over police headquarters, “The main idea is that we have to defend ourselves from the deal ordering them to disarm and would already seen several people killed in violent said: “We are not leaving the building, West, that the West is evil,” said political analyst Alexei Makarkin. not move out of public buildings they have clashes. The fact any deal was reached at all regardless of what statements are made, “The Crimea events reinforced this trend” after previous attempts seized until the Kiev government stepped in Geneva came as a surprise, and it was not because we know what is the real situation to root out Western influence such as the law on “foreign agents” down. The agreement, brokered by the clear what had happened behind the in the country and we will not leave until targeting NGOs, he said. “We lived like that in the Soviet era,” he United States, Russia, Ukraine and the scenes to persuade the Kremlin, which had our commander tells us to.” Two Ukrainian said. “Conservatives like it, those who want a comfortable, air- European Union in Geneva on Thursday, shown little sign of compromise, to join calls military aircraft circled Slaviansk several tight world without irritating things like abstract art.” On seemed to be the best hope of defusing a on the militias to disarm. It rejects Ukrainian times yesterday. In front of the mayor’s Wednesday, philosophy scholars of the usually apolitical Russian stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East- and Western accusations of orchestrating office, men armed with automatic rifles Academy of Sciences said that the policy violates Russia’s consti- West relations to their lowest level since the the gunmen. Russian President Vladimir peered over sandbags that had been piled tution by presenting a “required state ideology.” Cold War. Ukraine said the drive to root the Putin overturned decades of post-Cold War higher overnight. Separatists remained in A public letter of 25 academy professors said that the concept separatists out would continue and warned diplomacy last month by declaring Russia control of the city’s main streets, searching “Russia is not Europe” was only an opinion that could not be it could take “more concrete actions” next had a right to intervene in neighbouring cars at checkpoints around the city. inferred from Russian history. “Such a free interpretation of week if they do not back down. countries and by annexing Ukraine’s Black ideas... is absolutely inappropriate in any self-respecting society,” The Geneva agreement requires all ille- Sea peninsula of Crimea. No surrender the philosophers said, adding that the government should gal armed groups to disarm and end occu- That move followed the overthrow of The self-declared leader of all the encourage debate and research rather than dictate its views. pations of public buildings, streets and Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor region’s separatists said he did not consider Medinsky on Wednesday tried to assuage fears of a return to squares, but with the separatists staying put Yanukovich after months of street protests his men to be bound by the agreement. Soviet-style censorship, where works of art or drama had to be in the east and Ukrainian nationalist protest- prompted by his rejection of a trade deal Denis Pushilin, head of the self-declared reviewed by Communist party officials. The Kremlin’s new policy ers showing no sign of leaving their - with the EU. In Slaviansk, a city that has Donetsk People’s Republic, told journalists will be executed “not by bureaucrats” but by experts and respect- unarmed - camps in the capital’s Maidan become a flashpoint in the crisis after men in Donetsk, the regional capital, that Russian ed culture figures, he said. One expert sitting on a jury that Square, it was not clear that either side with Kalashnikovs took control last week- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “did not sign decides state grants for artists promised to make his judgments would be willing to move first. Enacting the end, leaders of the pro-Russian groups met anything for us, he signed on behalf of the based on artistic merit, not political need.—AFP agreement on the ground will be difficult, inside one of the seized buildings to decide Russian Federation”.—Reuters