US Together with Nigeria To Brainstorm on Boko Haram Insurgency

US Together with Nigeria To Brainstorm on Boko Haram Insurgency

The United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, is to lead a delegation of senior US officials to Nigeria to discuss the Boko Haram insurgency with the Federal Government.

The discussions, according to the US Mission in Nigeria, are to identify areas where the White House can cooperate with Nigeria to fight the sect’s violence and promote stability in the country.

The US Consul-General, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, said discussions on “security issues” would be the “central focus” of the next meeting of the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, scheduled to hold in Abuja on August 15.

Hawkins spoke on Wednesday during a special session on the Role of the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs in Lagos.

He said the US government was building partnerships and expanding mutual cooperation with Nigeria in the area of security, stressing that the fight against extremists dominates newspaper headlines even in the US.

He said, “A senior US delegation, led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, one of our highest ranking diplomats, will be attending the next meeting of the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission.

“The meeting in Abuja will involve the Regional Security Working Group of the Commission and the discussions next week will thus be largely focused on security-related issues.

“During the meetings, we plan to reaffirm our joint commitment and partnership to work with the government of Nigeria towards a lasting security in northern Nigeria with a particular focus on human rights.”

Hawkins said the American government valued the role Nigeria played in preserving stability on the African continent despite the “demands on its security forces at home” and as such will “work hard” to support it.

He said the discussions would take into account the imperative of defeating violent extremism, not only through the “disciplined use of force’’ but also through ‘’a sustained efforts to deliver good governance.”

He noted that the US would share with Nigeria some of the “many hard lessons” it learnt over the past decade while fighting terrorists and carrying out counter-insurgency operations.

Hawkins explained that Nigeria had become the second most popular destination for US Foreign Direct Investment, adding that it was in the best interest of the US to see that Nigeria becomes a more attractive place to do business.

He added, “As our two governments discuss security issues, we urge Nigerians, regardless of geographic location, to recognise that security affects the entire country. Boko Haram attacks deter investment and trade, even here in the South West.

“We are working hard to support Nigeria as it supports stability in Africa. Our security cooperation stems in part from the recognition that our countries face a shared threat in the form of terrorism.”

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