The United States of America says it has pledged a $5 billion contribution to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), to boost the military operation against the Boko Haram insurgency.
This much was disclosed by the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who made the announcement at a news briefing via telephone from the African Union Summit on Monday on the US interests in Africa.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent monitored the press briefing at the US Embassy in Abuja.
“We have been working with Nigeria as well as the African countries innovation to address their concerns about Boko Haram because we don’t see this as just a Nigerian problem. We are having discussions with President Buhari on how we might bolster our support. We have already been working with them and providing information.
We are providing some training and support and we’ll love to work with the new administration to see how we might increase the level of support to Nigeria. At the same time, we’ve just announced at the venue of the AU, five billion dollars contribution to the Multinational Task Force.
We are also providing some equipment and support and we have a number of meetings with the countries who are members of the Multinational Joint Task Force to look at other areas we might support.”
Thomas-Greenfield also stated that Africa had faced “some really horrendous terrorist attacks” over the past two years. Among tragedies mentioned were the West Gate and Garissa University attacks in Kenya, and the Boko Haram attacks – particularly, the kidnapping of the Chibok girls among others.
“While I would not say Africa is under siege, Africa has some major security challenges. That requires a very strong and very concerted strategic effort by African countries and partners to address the security concerns of Africa.” she said.
She further noted that the US is providing a strong support to AU on security as the US has a strong partnership with the continent on security. “We are working closely with the Lake Chad Basin countries: Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon to address the issues of Boko Haram,” she said.
According to her, the US had so far trained about 250,000 African peacekeepers, saying U.S. highest priority in Africa remained security.
NAN reports that the US envoy expressed support to the warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir.
She said that the US frowned at plans by some African leaders to subvert the constitution to extend their terms in office, saying US supports two-term limit in office.
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