Boko Haram Strikes Again
As news continues to make headlines that Boko Haram militants are still on the rampage to abduct young girls in Nigeria, the United States today expressed outrage of the terrorist group’s shocking acts and pledge to help the African nation as it seek for thee safe return of the young girls.
Reports made headlines that more than two hundred girls from the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria were kidnapped by the notorious extremist group last month.
In his testimony in Washington DC, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert P. Jackson said the barbaric acts of the Boko Haram shows the world that it has no regard for human life.
“We join the world, the people of Nigeria, and the parents of these children in expressing our outrage at Boko Haram’s shocking acts and its perverse ideology.” – Mr. Jackson
US Must Double Efforts To Address Growing Boko Haram Threat
The US says it needs to double its efforts to address the growing threat that Boko Haram represents.
According to Mr. Jackson, the tragic kidnapping demands the need to double the US efforts to defeat a Foreign Terrorist Organization that has troubled Nigeria for more than a decade.
Mr. Jackson highlighted US President Obama has pledged full support to the government and people of Nigeria as they seek the safe return of these brave girls.
The US acted swiftly to carry out the President’s pledge.In fact, the U.S. Government had deployed an 18-member interagency team to provide military and law enforcement assistance, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support last week.
“We have provided commercial imagery and are flying manned and unmanned ISR aircraft over Nigeria to support the search.” – Mr. Jackson
In addition, the US isre working closely with international partners on the ground, including the U.K. and France, and the nations are pressing for additional multilateral action, including UN Security Council sanctions on Boko Haram.
“As the President has directed, we will do everything possible to support the Nigerians in their efforts to find and free these girls. But we won’t stop there.” – Mr. Jackson
Boko Haram brings terror in Nigeria
Aside for its notorious kidnappings of young girls in Nigeria, Boko Haram has been killing innocent people for some time, and the attack at Chibok is part of that long, terrible trend.
For this year alone, Boko Haram has murdered more than 1000 innocent people in vicious attacks on schools, churches, and mosques.
According to Mr. Jackson, the extremists have targeted and systematically kidnapped women – including these girls.
He added the abductions in Chibok fit into this larger pattern of violence.
In addition, throughout northeastern Nigeria, innocent civilians are terrified by gunmen who come in the night to kill young men and teachers and steal away young women.
Boko Haram Causes Instability In Nigeria
Boko Haram’s ideology opposes Western culture and education. The grou seeks to overthrow the Nigerian state and replace it with a regime enforcing strict shari’a law.
In addition, Boko Haram has exploited religious rhetoric in an attempt to justify its violence, casting the state as hopelessly corrupt and un-Islamic.
Boko Haram’s activities call attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.
US Holistic Approach To Countering The Threats of Boko Haram
The United States is committed to helping the Nigerian Government and people counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups.
In recent years, the US government has worked to help isolate Boko Haram’s leaders.
In June 2012, the State Department designated Boko Haram’s top commanders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. In June 2013, the State Department added Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s official leader, to US Rewards for Justice Program and offered up to $7 million for information leading to his location.
Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.
In addtion, the United States has recently taken additional steps to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and Ansaru.
The State Department designated both as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.
Nigeria is the 22nd fastest-growing economy in the world, the 13th largest supplier of oil to the global market, and the second largest destination for U.S. private investment in Africa.
The significant mutual interests both US and Nigeria share have led the two countries to build a robust bilateral relationship.
Sectarian Violence Escalates in Nigeria
Earlier in 2012, spiralling violence escalated in Nigeria as Boko Haram group unleashed a series of attacks.
Boko Haram is a local terrorist group professing allegiance to Al Qaeda. Boko Haram militants attacked several churches on Christmas Day, killing dozens of worshippers. The bombings occurred in Madala, on the outskirts of Abuja, the Nigerian capital, and in the north-eastern city of Jos.
The United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, urged a bold effort by Nigeria’s political and religious leaders to halt the spiralling sectarian violence.
Boko Haram, which aims to install strict Shariah, or Islamic, law across Nigeria, has vowed to keep killing Christians in the multiethnic country.