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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid