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U.S. Committed To Helping Nigerians Combat Terrorism


People look at damage in a market area after a bomb explosion in Borno State, Nigeria. (March 2, 2014.)

A wave of deadly attacks on innocent men, women and children in Northern Nigeria shows that while under pressure from police and government troops, the Boko Haram terrorist group is still a force to be reckoned with.

A wave of deadly attacks on innocent men, women and children in Northern Nigeria shows that while under pressure from police and government troops, the Boko Haram terrorist group is still a force to be reckoned with.


In recent weeks, hundreds have died in raids that may have conducted in retaliation for the crackdown, a cowardly campaign fueled by a group exploiting local grievances to assert its influence over a peaceful and diverse population. The unspeakable violence – school children burned alive in their beds, villagers gunned down en masse as their homes are destroyed – is horrific, wrong and has no place in our world.

On February 15, the militants stormed the village of Izge near the border with Cameroon, killing more than 100. A few days after, the village of Bama was set ablaze and more than 115 villagers were gunned down as they tried to flee to safety.

Then early on February 24, again in northeastern Nigeria, militants attacked the Federal Government College boarding school in Bunu Yadi, killing 29 teenage boys, some burned to death in their beds after their dormitory was torched. Similar attacks since then have become almost a daily occurrence. No group has claimed responsibility for the Bunu Yadi killings, but Boko Haram has attacked many schools that teach Nigeria’s national curriculum, which it considers sinful. If education is a sin, what is murder? What good can come from such destruction?

The people of Northern Nigeria deserve to be free from violence and from terror. That’s why the United States is providing counterterrorism assistance to help Nigerian authorities develop a comprehensive approach to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram, while also protecting civilians and ensuring respect for human rights.

We stand with the people of Northern Nigeria in their struggle against violent extremism and remain a committed partner of the Nigerian government as it works to root out Boko Haram and associated groups.

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