News / USA

Obama, Jonathan Discuss Kenya Attack, Terrorist Threats

President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— President Barack Obama has promised Nigeria's leader the U.S. will help fight terrorism in that country. In their meeting ahead of Obama's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the two leaders discussed the terrorist attack in Kenya and similar threats to Nigeria.

Obama's discussion Monday with President Goodluck Jonathan dealt with the threat that terrorism poses across Africa, including in Nigeria where the government is battling the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The president said the United States will continue helping Nigeria build capacity to deal with the problem, which he called “an extraordinary security challenge.”

But it is the attack by al-Shabab terrorists on a shopping mall in Kenya that now dominates headlines.  

Obama referred to his telephone conversation Sunday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who lost family members in the attack. He said the United States stands with the people of Kenya, and vowed to work with all of Africa to dismantle terrorist networks.

“This I think underscores the degree to which all of us as an international community have to stand against the kind of senseless violence that these kinds of groups represent," the president said.  "And the United States will continue to work with the entire continent of Africa and around the world to make sure that we are dismantling these networks of destruction."

Jonathan called the United States and Nigeria “natural allies” and spoke of Nigeria's role in helping to stabilize West Africa and the rest of the continent.

Referring to the “dastardly attack” in Nairobi, he said it underscores the need to fight terrorism.

“Terror anywhere in the world is terror on all of us, and we call on diplomat leaders to come together and fight terror, and until we all agree to wipe out terror all over the world, the world will continue to be embarrassed by these acts of violence," Jonathan said.

Jonathan said Nigeria needs more U.S. support to deal with its own terrorism problem.

Obama said U.S. assistance would help Nigeria confront the problem in a way that is consistent with human rights.

The two leaders also discussed elections in Nigeria in 2015, with Obama stressing the importance of ensuring that the elections improve the country’s democratic process.  

In the first of only three formal bilateral meetings on his schedule in New York, Obama and Jonathan also discussed the goal of spreading electricity throughout the continent, and helping to empower young Africans.   

Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid