‘There’s urgent need to prevent Boko Haram from regenerating’ – US

The United States is proposing to provide Nigeria with further military assistance, possibly in the form of elite soldiers to assist the Nigerian Army with strategy and manpower in the war against Boko Haram.

In spite of the alleged human rights violation perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the United States has of late, stepped up its support of the efforts to rid the North East of Boko Haram.

While the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan often complained of a lack of support, the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari-led government has had it fairer, but could be better.

The Leahy amendment prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defence from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.

However, the United States government on Thursday, January 7, donated 24 used land mine-resistant armour-protected vehicles to Nigeria in its support of the fight against terrorism.

The vehicles are reported to be worth a whooping $11 million.

A recent Reuters report states that ‘a Nigerian presidential source confirmed that the United States had proposed additional military assistance against Boko Haram’.

But this time, the impetus to give the assistance is to Nigeria stems from fears that ISIS and Boko Haram ‘may start collaborating more closely’ after the latter pledged allegiance to the former in 2015.

“There is an urgent need to prevent Boko Haram from regenerating and possibly coming back more virulent, destructive, and globally connected than before,” Jennifer Cooke, Africa Program Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Committee, Ed Royce was on board with the proposals, noting that the U.S. “can provide the high-level guidance that is crucially missing in the fight against Boko Haram.”

 

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