‘U.S. Spent $500m On Boko Haram’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘U.S. Spent $500m On Boko Haram’

Posted: May 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)




Chukwudi Nweje



The United States government said it has expended $500 million in cash and other logistics in prosecuting the war against terror in Nigeria.

The funds from the State Department alone are from different elements of the U.S. foreign affairs budget for the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist sect.

This is even as troops of the U.S. Army Africa, a part of AFRICOM, are physically present in Nigeria, working with the Nigerian security forces on capacity building.

Susan D. Page, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and U.S., Chargé d’Affaires to the African Union, spoke at a media briefing on the Africa Regional Force, tagged ‘Interagency Cooperation to Build Regional Security across the African Continent and the 2016 African Land Forces Summit Arusha, Tanzania,’ held live in Arusha, Tanzania and monitored at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos.

She was accompanied by Major General Darryl A. Williams, Commander of the U.S. Army Africa and Co-Host of the African Land Forces Summit 2016.

Ambassador Page noted that U.S. Mission to the African Union (AU) is the first of three non-African observer missions to the regional body and part of President Barack Obama’s national security strategy for sub-Saharan Africa. Its aim is to foster a more stable, democratic, and prosperous environment for citizens of Africa and the global community.

The other foreign missions to the AU are China and the European Union (EU).

“The United States and the African Union initiated a high level dialogue where we bring together at the cabinet level, so it’s the Secretary of State level, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and we get together with other senior level African Union Commission officials to discuss our progress together, our activities, and other ways that we can foster continued growth on the continent, and other areas that we can explore for cooperation,” she said.

She noted that the U.S Mission to the A.U. will continue to work with African countries in the areas of peace, security, democracy and governance.

On his part, Major General Williams noted that the African Land Forces (ALFS) Summit is aimed at building partnerships and working together on common security issues.

According to him, “This event affords African Land Forces’ chiefs the opportunity to speak very candidly, share ideas, and best practices in peacekeeping and operations against violent extremist organisations.

“This summit lays the groundwork for many years of continued partnerships between our militaries. We may not know what challenges the future brings, but we know moving forward, that we will have strong relationships with those standing to our left and our right. Together, we will be ready. Everyone here brings so many different experiences, whether working under the UN, ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, the Africa Union, or other operations. The African Land Forces Summit is a great venue to share those lessons learned so that all participants walk away better prepared for the complex security challenges of today,” Maj. Gen. Williams said.

He added that the U.S. Army’s commitment to the AU is more than financial but about building partnership capacity and cooperation.

On one hand, in sort of a transactional sense, money is certainly a part of any solution set. But what we want to do is build capability, and that is what we are doing right now as we speak.

“There are soldiers in Nigeria, working shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians, building capacity.”

On the recent rescue of some Chibok girls by the military and Joint Task Force and what the US was doing about the remaining, Maj. Gen. Williams said that the U.S. and Nigeria will continue to collaborate.

“I would tell you that what we are exchanging is what I said before, tactics, techniques, and procedures, and sharing best practices with the Nigerians, and they are as well. So we are both learning from each other.”