Wednesday, August 17, 2011

US Government ready for Boko Haram Sect

The United States on Tuesday confirmed fears of a possible threat to the peace in Africa by the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, and volunteered to
collaborate with the government in curbing the sect’s threat.

The US told the Minister of Defence in Abuja that Boko Haram had links with other extremists’ organisations outside the country.

The Commander of the US Africa Command, Gen. Carter Ham, said the Boko Haram menace in the North-Eastern part of the country was not just of serious concern to Nigeria but to the US and indeed the international community.

Ham said, “We are very concerned about the linkages between Boko Haram and all other extremely organisations in Africa and other places and so we will find way to collaborate to address this.”

He did not mention the said fundamentalist bodies.

Ham said the sect, founded in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, in 2002, posed many security challenges to the African continent.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the July 16, 2011 Nigeria Police Force Headquarters bombing in Abuja. The police in Borno also said they suspected that a suicide bomber shot dead in Maiduguri on Monday was a member of the sect.

The suspected bomber had driven a Honda car laden with explosives and attempted to force his way to on the premises of the police headquarters in the town at a time about 1,500 potential recruits were being tested.

The AFRICOM Commander who spoke during a courtesy call on the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Bello Mohammed, said that the US was interested in addressing the menace.

He also said that the US, which was determined to strengthen the existing relationship between both countries, would aid the country’s efforts in Maritime security.

He said that the US would also work with the country to curb the incidence of violence and to support the nation’s role in regional security.

“The security challenges that Nigeria faces are exactly the same security challenges that the United State faces, so the purpose of my visit is to share our common view and to find ways that the armed forces of the United States and the Armed Forces of Nigeria can increase our cooperation and synchronisation to address our shared issues.

“And it has been a very interesting opportunity to meet with the Minister of State for Defence as well as senior military and civilians leaders in Nigeria to exploit the possibilities of strengthening what is already a very good partnership,” he added

The Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, who represented Mohammed, commended the US for the donation of a ship ‘Thunder’ to the Nigeria Navy, which she said would soon arrive in the country.

She commended the US for the support it had given to the Nigerian military in the area of peace operations under the United Nations and others.

She also thanked the US for its support to the nation’s military in the fight against terrorism.

Obada said that Nigeria was aware of the efforts of the US in the sustained fight against terrorism at the global level and was ready to give the necessary cooperation to it.

She said that it was logical for the US and Nigeria to work together in the offensive against terrorism as both countries needed peace in their respective societies.

She said, “I want to thank you most sincerely for the cooperation that you have given to the Nigeria military over the years and most especially in the area of peace-keeping operations to the UN and other area.

“We appreciate also your cooperation for the security of the Gulf of Guinea and also the area of counter-terrorism to bring this to the lowest level and totally eradicate it in the African sub-region and not only Nigeria.

“We can appreciate all the help you can give us and then of course training requirements, whatever you can do to train our people in counter-terrorism, intelligence analysis.

“Nigeria is very grateful to your country for the past role and we are hopeful for a greater cooperation in the future being more or less the policeman of the world.

“Nigeria appreciates this for the role you have been playing not only in the African sub-region but in the whole world and we look forward to greater cooperation.

“We are hoping in the area of counter-terrorism. We will be able to work to bring this to zero level so that we can have peace. The most important thing we are looking for is peace; we want peace in our country Nigeria and they want peace in their country in America and we need to work together to ensure that this happens.

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