Friday, July 31

How we are helping Nigeria fight Boko Haram - US

United States has said it is supporting the Federal Government in terms of intelligence sharing in the fight against Boko Haram.

US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, stated this on Friday in a Facebook question and answer session.

Entwistle pointed out that the US government under President Barack Obama was doing its best to make Nigeria wins the war against terrorism.

The envoy added, "No partner is doing more to help you against Boko Haram than the United States. We hope to train more of your troops; we are glad to discuss weapons transfers and we engage in significant information sharing, which I cannot discuss in detail in this setting.

"We also are doing everything we can to support the population of internally displaced Nigerians from the north-east and to help Nigeria create conditions that will prevent something like the scourge of Boko Haram from ever happening again in Nigeria.

"The US has for years had a beneficial working relationship with the Nigerian military, especially in the counter-terrorism struggle against Boko Haram. Now more than ever, we are committed to assisting our Nigerian partners as appropriate. That involves training, sharing of information and, in some cases, helping the Nigerian military with its equipment needs.

"The Leahy amendment requires that for all countries, we can not train known human rights abusers or that our equipment not be used in depredations against civilian populations."

Entwistle noted that paying attention to human rights would not distract from fighting terrorists.

He explained that on the contrary, it would make for a stronger counter-terrorism effort since it allowed the military to keep civilian populations on their side in the midst of the incredibly difficult task of fighting terrorists, who did not care about human rights or protecting civilians.

On stolen Nigeria's money allegedly in US banks, the ambassador stated that the US government was ready to continue its efforts to "find funds that were 'looted out of the country' and may now be in the US bank accounts."

He, however, urged Nigerians to exercise patience, saying the process of finding the looted funds was an "extremely complicated process which takes detailed investigation."

According to Entwistle, the cases can sometimes take time in the US courts.

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