The Wall Street Journal has a report raising hopes about the 200 or so Nigerian girls still missing after being kidnapped by Boko Haram. US surveillance planes have on at least two occasions spotted sizable groups of girls in remote locales in northeastern Nigeria. The girls had been moved by the time subsequent flights flew overhead, but the development suggests that instead of selling the girls into sex slavery as feared, Boko Haram is keeping them in the hopes of a prisoner swap with the government.
In fact, the Journal quotes a Nigerian security adviser who says that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has given orders that "anybody found touching any of the girls should be killed immediately." President Goodluck Jonathan has publicly ruled out a prisoner exchange, but he is up for re-election in February and under heavy pressure to bring the girls home. Meanwhile, a human rights group has launched a campaign to provide educations for the girls who managed to escape, reports the Catholic News Agency.