News / Africa

    US May Deploy Military Advisers Against Boko Haram

    Nigerian soldiers patrol outside the site of an accidental explosion of Boko Haram bombs in Yola, Nigeria, Feb. 25, 2016.
    Nigerian soldiers patrol outside the site of an accidental explosion of Boko Haram bombs in Yola, Nigeria, Feb. 25, 2016.

    The United States and Nigeria are in talks about sending U.S. military advisers to Nigeria's Borno State to help with the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

    A U.S. official told VOA that the talks are "ongoing," but no decision has been made about the proposed deployment.

    A U.S. Defense Department official told VOA that a team went to Nigeria in the past two months and “recommended” the U.S. and Nigerian militaries restart training, but that no decision has been made.

    The defense official says the interaction is a "sign that the U.S. - Nigeria relationship is going well with the new president in power."  President Muhammadu Buhari took office as the nation's 15th president last May, following his defeat of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

    The New York Times reported reported earlier Friday that the deployment was recommended by the top U.S. Special Operations commander for Africa, Brigadier General Donald Bolduc.  

    It said a U.S. assessment team suggested dozens of advisers be placed in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, "to help Nigerian military planners carry out a more effective counterterrorism campaign."  Nigerian officials have reportedly embraced the recommendations and are drawing up detailed requests.

    The United States already has about 250 military personnel in Cameroon, running a drone operation to keep track of Boko Haram activity.

    According to the Times, if the new deployment is approved, U.S. forces would serve only non-combat advisory roles.

    Since 2009, Nigeria has struggled to stop a seemingly endless string of deadly raids and suicide attacks by the Islamist extremist group, which says it wants to create a strict Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria.

    The group has also struck repeatedly in parts of Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

    Last year, the Nigerian army was able to retake most of the territory captured by Boko Haram with the help of those countries; but, the group has continued to attack markets and public places, often using female suicide bombers.

    The group has killed an estimated 20,000 people overall and the violence has forced more than 2 million Nigerians from their homes.

    VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin and Pentagon Correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report

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    Comment Sorting
    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    February 26, 2016 10:15 PM
    Yeah, go Obama! The Islamist-in-Chief will send once again the greatest military Advisers? He is sending advisers. To advise what exactly? Oh, you mean he will advise them to duck when they are being shot at? Clever. Remember years ago....YEARS AGO....when Michelle was holding that sign for your people, and she had that sad looking face, the sign for support of getting your little girls rescued. Her husband, who just happens to have the greatest military force in the world.......DID NOTHING!!!!!!! After all this time of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram thriving and prospering, the Islamist-in-Chief will send advisers. I feel relieved. I bet Boko is shaing in fear right now.

    by: Ogeh Friday igiri
    February 26, 2016 3:44 PM
    The USA while sending the military aid should be careful to avoid being used by the devilish Nigeria government to waste innocent souls.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 27, 2016 9:22 AM
    Hey Ogeh _ When we (the US) sends military advisors to countries (like Nigeria) the bodies start piling up? .. The US doesn't negotiate?

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