News / Africa

Clinton Offers Aid to Nigerian Security Forces Against Boko Haram

US Secretary of State Clinton meets with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Aug. 9, 2012US Secretary of State Clinton meets with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Aug. 9, 2012
x
US Secretary of State Clinton meets with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Aug. 9, 2012
US Secretary of State Clinton meets with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Aug. 9, 2012
Anne Look
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped in Nigeria Thursday as part of her 11-day, nine-country Africa tour.  The secretary of state reaffirmed what she called the "vital" strategic partnership between the two countries and offered U.S. assistance in marshaling Nigeria's security against the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram.

Nigeria is America's largest trading partner in Africa and one of the world's top 10 oil producers.  But much of its population lives in poverty and rampant corruption undermines development efforts.

Clinton reiterated Washington's commitment to the bilateral relationship and support for Nigerian reforms, including anti-corruption efforts.  

"We really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless.  But the most important task that you face is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians.  We want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary," Clinton said.

Clinton spoke following high-level meetings with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his national security team and government ministers.  A senior State Department official said the United States offered to help Nigeria "harmonize" the efforts of its police, military and other security forces.  A lack of coordination and information sharing between the various branches is said to be hindering the fight against Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram.
 
Another senior State Department official in the meeting said the Nigerian government was "very interested" in the proposal and that the United States will be sending a team to follow up.  The proposal includes helping Nigerian security forces set up an "intelligence fusion cell" to better share information, based on a model used by the United States that it has shared with several other nations.

The State Department says the U.S. also offered to assist in forensics and post-attack inspections, as well as improved methods of tracking and arresting suspected militants.

Boko Haram stages almost daily bombings and shootings in northern Nigeria that Human Rights Watch says have killed 1,400 people since the sect's reemergence in 2010.

Nigeria has not been able to stop the bloodshed.  Critics say the government's military crackdown in the North has escalated the violence, which threatens to destabilize Africa's most populous country and its neighbors.

President Jonathan thanked the Obama administration for its "passion" and support for Nigeria, in particular during the turbulent political transition following the death of President Umar Yar'Adua in 2010.

"The support they gave us was one of the things that stabilized this country.  And when we insisted that we must conduct elections that would be free and fair -- that is the only way we can stabilize democracy -- they gave us moral support, technical support and assisted us to make sure that we conducted elections that both national and international observers declared were quite free and fair," he said.

A senior State Department official said Secretary Clinton and President Jonathan extensively discussed a proposed regional intervention in Mali, where Islamist militants have seized control of the northern half of the country, while the south remains gripped in a post-coup political crisis.

Mali is expected to figure prominently in Clinton's informal discussions with regional leaders in Accra on Friday on the sidelines of the funeral for Ghanian President John Atta Mills.

Clinton will conclude her tour with a stop in Benin late Friday.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More