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Monday, 15 June 2015

We will work with Buhari to destroy BokoHaram, says US

The United States of America has said it will work with President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the menace of Boko Haram in Nigeria and its neighbouring countries.

Erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan had complained during his tenure about the unwillingness of the American government to assist Nigeria in prosecuting the war against the terrorist group, especially in selling weapons to the country.

But Washington said it would work with Buhari to likely increase the US’ level of support though it did not say whether that would include sales of lethal weapons earlier requested for by the Federal Government.

The US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, during a telephone press briefing on Monday, held in South Africa at the 25th African Union Summit, and monitored by our correspondent in Lagos, stated that Washington was committed to ensuring that Nigeria wins its battle against the terrorist group.

“Fighting terrorism is not easy. Since 2001 we have been fighting terrorism and we will continue to fight terrorists. Fighting in Africa requires support of the entire region,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

The US government added that the Boko Haram insurgency was not a Nigerian problem alone. According to its representative, the US is working closely with Nigeria’s neighbours to curtail the activities of the terrorist group.

She added that the US was committing $5 million to Nigeria’s efforts at defeating Boko Haram and that Nigeria had been receiving equipment and technical assistance from the US.

Contrary to President Buhari’s statement on Sunday at the AU Summit, the US assistant secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, said Africa was not under siege, though she admitted the continent was facing “really horrific attacks in recent times.”

“I’ll not say Africa is under siege. I’ll say Africa is facing some challenging security situations,” she said.

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