Posted by News Express | 22 August 2013 | 3,444 times
The United States of America has made a strong case for more training for the Nigerian military and other services so as to empower them to decisively deal with the challenge of insurgency in the northern parts of the country, particularly the North-East.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman conveyed the country’s position during the 9th U.S.-Nigerian Bi-National Commission meeting held last week in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
A summary of the August 15 meeting in the possession of News Express shows that Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation, called on the working group “to meet the challenge of implementing the many concepts agreed upon, and turning them into concrete, realisable steps that the Nigerian people could experience and feel, specifically: Provide more training to the Nigerian military and other services of the Nigerian government to address the challenges it faces, particularly with the insurgency in the North.”
She noted “the inclusiveness of all voices in Nigerian society, Police, Intelligence, Military, Civil Society and State Government, in creating a comprehensive plan to deal with this challenge” and “acknowledged the need for greater public diplomacy: specifically the need to communicate that justice and accountability takes place, that training is ongoing and that the many things that are happening on the ground, provide hope to people and reduce the recruitment of additional extremists.”
Sherman, who met with President Goodluck Jonathan and some Nigerian ministers during her visit, also noted that “countering extremists within Nigeria requires using all of the strengths that Nigeria has to offer: its talent and its federal character that draws on the abilities of Nigerians from all regions, all sectors and all parts of the country, and its diversity that allows for approaching problems from multiple angles at the same time.”
She concluded by saying that “the talents of all the people of Nigeria are needed to confront the issues before them and to seize the opportunities that exist to have a great and bright future as Nigeria becomes Africa’s most vibrant and largest economy in the coming years.”
News Express reports that Nigeria has faced immese security challenge in parts of the North as a result of the campaign of violence by the Boko Haram Islamic sect, which has claimed upwards of 4,000 lives since 2009. The Nigerian military early this week announced that the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, had been shot during a battle and later died of gun shot wounds but no evidence has yet been produced to support the claim.
•Photo shows U.S. envoy Wendy Sherman.
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