Boko Haram continues its vicious attacks on the people of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as it seeks to impose its twisted ideology.
“Boko Haram’s savagery – murder, rape, kidnapping, enslavement, extortion, destruction – seemingly has no bounds or limits,” said Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“Boko Haram’s members use children in attacks, bomb places of worship, both Muslim and Christian, and they bomb busy commercial centers and raid local communities. They are murderers - pure and simple murderers.”
The insurgency has created a major humanitarian crisis in the region. Over the past 6 years, Boko Haram has killed over 18,000, forced over 180,000 Nigerians to flee their country as refugees, and left homeless some 2.4 million internally displaced persons.
“The challenge of defeating Boko Haram is going to require long-term dedication to this effort,” said Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “This is a global fight – it is not just a Nigerian fight”:
“We are working closely with Nigeria and with Nigeria’s neighbors to fight Boko Haram, and we’re fighting them on all levels -- militarily, intelligence, training efforts, a tremendous amount of support on the humanitarian side. It’s not a battle that can just be won on the battlefield. It’s our hope that we help address the issues that people are facing in the north: better education, creating jobs, preparing young people for the future, so that they can join the fight against Boko Haram and not continue to be victimized.”
A key part of United States strategy in the area is providing support to the Multinational Joint Task Force, which includes soldiers from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Benin. We are providing advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment. As well, to those people who have been victimized by Boko Haram, we are providing more than $195 million in humanitarian assistance.
“This will be a long fight that requires perseverance, and it is going to require strong resources,” said Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield.“But now is the time for us to work together with our African partners to redouble our efforts to defeat Boko Haram and create the bright future that all of the people of Africa deserve.”