Nigerian Navy officers train with US Army Special Forces

The military partnership between the two countries will strengthen defense ties.

An officer of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (left) during the five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) alongside a team of U.S. Army Special Forces [U.S. Consulate]

25 officers of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service have completed a five-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) alongside a team of United States Army Special Forces.

The U.S. Consulate in Lagos said in a statement on Friday, July 9, 2021 that the two forces trained together on a broad range of land-based skills and tactics, such as countering improvised explosive devises (IEDs).

"The exercise is part of a series of U.S. engagements with the Nigerian military that provide opportunities for Nigerian military and U.S. elite units to work together, learn from each other, and strengthen relationships," the statement read.

Acting U.S. Consulate Political and Economic Chief, Merrica Heaton, said at a closing ceremony in Lagos that the military partnership between the two countries will strengthen defense ties and promote regional security.

She said the partnership will help to enforce rule of law, combat maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea, and counter Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria's north east region.

Boko Haram has terrorised the region since 2009 and displaced millions of people from their communities, with their activities spreading to communities in neighbouring countries.

The death toll directly linked to the group's violence has been estimated to be around 35,000, but the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said in a recent report that the total death toll is 10 times higher.

"We estimate that through the end of 2020, the conflict will have resulted in nearly 350,000 deaths, with 314,000 of those from indirect causes," the report noted.

A significant amount of the casualties were recorded in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, with children younger than five years old being the hardest hit.

During a visit to Borno last month, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that the anti-terror war is not over, years after he claimed Boko Haram was 'technically defeated'.

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