Since 2009, when it began a campaign to overthrow the government of Nigeria and establish a regime based allegedly on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, the criminal terrorist group known as Boko Haram has wreaked death and destruction across much of that nation’s northern half. It has perpetrated countless unprovoked attacks on men, women and children in their homes, schools, places of worship and businesses, claiming thousands of lives and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.
Over time, Boko Haram has taken the battle to Nigeria’s neighbors in Benin, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, causing additional death and mayhem. Recognizing the expanding regional nature of the terror group, the United States has provided support in the region in confronting it. Now as nations in the region mount a major military offensive against the group under the leadership of the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, we are increasing our support for these efforts.
This commitment is firm, and will continue for as long as the nations in the region welcome it. We are fully committed to helping the security forces defend their national territories.
Boko Haram must not be allowed to continue brutally terrorizing innocent civilians anywhere. This unchecked killing must stop. The United States stands firmly with the governments of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria in the face of this serious threat.