US to provide lethal weapons to Nigerian military

Thomas-Greenfield said President Muhammadu Buhari is going to be in Washington later this month for meetings with the administration.

 

The United States government has restated its commitment to assist Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram and rescue the Chibok girls.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and the Commander United States Africa Command (USAAFRICOM), General David Rodriguez, made this known in a joint online press conference.

Thomas-Greenfield said President Muhammadu Buhari is going to be in Washington later this month for meetings with the administration.

"And we will have discussions with him on what we can do to continue to assist Nigeria and their effort to fight against Boko Haram.

"Part of that discussion will be how we can provide the equipment and support that Nigerians require.

"Part of what we will do is to engage with the new government, we will have discussion on what we can do to continue to assist Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

"Human rights are an important value for the United States and in any place that we are providing lethal weapons.

"We want to know that the miiltaries that we are providing those weapons to do not use that in a way that violates the human rights of ordinary civilians so we will have that discussion moving forward,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. government will discuss these issues with the Nigerian government, adding that they will also discuss how to better prepare Nigerian military to support communities.

"And build confidence in communities and not be victimised by the efforts of the military in the fight against Boko Haram.’’

Thomas-Green also said that the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls is high priority for the U.S. government.

"This has been an extremely high priority for the U.S. government to assist in bringing these girls home and also hundreds of other girls and young boys who were forcefully abducted by Boko Haram.

"We will not let up on our efforts; we will continue to work with the government.’’

She commended Buhari and his wife for visiting their families and letting them know they have not been forgotten.

On his part, Rodriguez said the U.S. has continued to share intelligence with the Nigerian leadership, about the Chibok girls as well as other people who have been taken by Boko Haram.

"We will continue to do that and pursue the effort of rescuing the girls.’’

The commander said the U.S. will continue to promote peace and security in Africa as a priority and that was why the command exists.

He said the command supports peace keeping efforts and strengthens the capacity of Africa military through partnership.

"The United States government is commitment to assisting African countries as they build their capacity to counter terrorism, which AFRICOM is key to providing such assistance.

"In Nigeria we continue to share intelligence with the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.’’

The officials further expressed concern that growing extremist violence undermines the peace and stability that Africa needs to strive and to prosper.

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