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Boko Haram A Continued Threat

The ruins of a market outside the state police headquarters in Kano, Nigeria, police say was destroyed by a Boko Haram attack.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in gun and bomb attacks.

Since taking up arms in 2009, the group known as Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in gun and bomb attacks. Divisions in the group have made it difficult for the Government of Nigeria to deal effectively with the threat, as some factions show little interest in abandoning their campaign of overthrowing the government in all or parts of Nigeria and establishing a fundamentalist religious state.

Boko Haram has exploited legitimate economic grievances to attract recruits to its ranks and win support from the people. In addition to confronting the violence, it is important for the government of Nigeria to engage communities vulnerable to extremist violence and promote human rights practices among security forces, whose sometimes heavy-handed tactics reinforce the concerns of many people in Northern Nigeria that the government does not care about their lives and communities.

Nigerians with grievances should use peaceful means to express their concerns and dissatisfactions.

The United States condemns attempts by those who seek to inflame ethnic and religious tensions, and encourages all religious and political leaders to speak out against the violence and work for peaceful coexistence. Meanwhile, we will continue working with the government of Nigeria to develop a more balanced security strategy to counter Boko Haram and protect its citizens. This includes developing a proactive criminal justice system that reduces impunity and builds confidence in the government by effectively investigating and prosecuting all incidents of violence in the country.