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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid