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US Ambassador to UN Pledges $40 Million to Aid Lake Chad Region

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power meets with Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo at the Ministry of Defense in Yaounde, Cameroon, Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, says the United States will provide nearly $40 million in new humanitarian assistance for nations in Africa's Lake Chad region, to provide aid to people whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram violence.

Power made the announcement Tuesday in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, after meetings with President Paul Biya, Prime Minister Philemon Yang, and Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo.

She said that during those meetings she told the officials that the United States is committed to partnering with Cameroon to defeat the Boko Haram militant group, which operates mainly in the Lake Chad Basin where the borders of Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, and Chad meet.

Power said defeat of Boko Haram must be accomplished on multiple fronts, and not by military means alone. she said she urged all the officials with whom she met to consider that the grievances of the population in Boko Haram areas must be addressed; inclusive governance needs must be promoted; and human rights must be protected and respected. She said it is very important that the fight against Boko Haram be carried out in a way that does not alienate local populations on whom long-term success depends.

Power also noted that she attended on Tuesday a ceremony for burning illegally trafficked ivory and congratulated Cameroon for taking a stance against the illegal ivory trade.

On a sadder note, Power expressed condolences for a traffic accident involving her convoy on Monday in which a young boy was killed. She said all the members of the U.S. delegation are "heartbroken by this tragedy."