News / USA

US Lawmakers Examine Response to Boko Haram Abductions

US Lawmakers Examine Response to Boko Haram Abductionsi
X
Michael Bowman
May 15, 2014 9:58 PM
The Obama administration says it is acting to help rescue more than 250 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, but encountering challenges and obstacles in the effort. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, U.S. officials testified on Capitol Hill where lawmakers uniformly condemned Boko Haram Islamist militants, as the schoolgirls’ captivity entered a second month.
US Lawmakers Examine Response to Boko Haram Abductions
Michael Bowman
The Obama administration says it is taking action to help rescue more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted in mid-April, but that it is encountering challenges and obstacles in the effort.  U.S. officials testified on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers uniformly condemned Boko Haram Islamist militants.

From widespread protests to a borderless social media campaign, the schoolgirls’ plight continues to grip the world’s attention.  U.S. Senator Chris Coons heads the Africa panel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Boko Haram is trying to send a message, and the world, starting with the Nigerian government, must respond by saying their crimes will not be tolerated, and perpetrators held accountable,” he said.

Appearing before the panel, the Pentagon’s point person for Africa, Alice Friend, said 16 U.S. military specialists have been dispatched to advise Nigerian security forces.  She said the threat posed by Boko Haram is growing, and has exposed other problems in Nigeria.

“Nigeria can be an extremely challenging partner to work with.  In the face of this sophisticated threat, Nigeria’s security forces have been slow to adapt with new strategies, new doctrines and new tactics.  Even more troubling, Nigeria’s record of atrocities perpetrated by some of its security forces during operations against Boko Haram has been widely documented,” said Friend.

And insecurity in Nigeria grows against a backdrop of hunger and need, according to Earl Gast of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“It is projected that, by 2015, Nigeria will be home to the largest number of persons worldwide living in poverty,” said Gast.

The international community has rallied to provide assistance, but there is much Nigeria must do on its own, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Robert Jackson.

“The [Nigerian] state must demonstrate to its citizens that it can protect them and offer them opportunity.  When soldiers destroy towns, kill civilians, and detain innocent people with impunity, mistrust takes root,” he said.

The kidnapping crisis has sharpened U.S. lawmakers’ focus on the safety and well-being of women worldwide.  Senator Jeanne Shaheen struck a resolute tone.

“We can either allow women to continue to be victims of violence and ignorance and repression, or we can act on behalf of wives, our daughters, our granddaughters,” said the senator.

A bill before Congress would make the safety of women a U.S. government priority in its dealings across the globe.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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 US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
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.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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