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US to Provide More Training Against Boko Haram, Piracy

FILE - A U.S. special forces soldier demonstrates how to detain a suspect during Flintlock 2014, a U.S.-led international training mission for African militaries, in Diffa, March 4, 2014.

The commander of U.S. military operations in Africa, Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, said the United States is ready to provide more training and material to countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In Yaoundé, Bolduc met with Cameroon President Paul Biya.

Brigadier General Donald Bolduc said Boko Haram fighters are engaging increasingly in unconventional war tactics, which make fighting the Nigerian terrorist group more complicated.

"It is extremely dangerous what they are doing. They are using the populace; they are using female suicide bombers in a way that it is disadvantaged to have the military normally operate among the populace. So it does take a period of adjustment. But I think we understand how they operate. We have the tactics, techniques and procedures to be able to adjust and we will, in time, defeat them," he said.

Boko Haram fighters have expanded their six year insurgency to create an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria to neighboring countries – killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. Cameroon and Chad have now suffered suicide bombing attacks since June.

Bolduc said the U.S., through the U.S Africa command headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is providing essential partnership support to countries suffering the violent and economic impact of the insurgency.

He also said the United States is helping countries on the Gulf of Guinea reduce terrorism and related piracy attacks by providing material and military intelligence.

Bolduc’s visit to West Africa coincides with new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-day visit to Washington to discuss enhanced cooperation against Boko Haram. Buhari will head to Cameroon next week for further regional military cooperation talks.