Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Obama okays Buhari’s agenda for defeating Boko Haram



President Mohammadu Buhari(L) with US
President Barack Obama during a meeting in
Washington DC on Monday | credits: STATE
HOUSE
THE US President, Barack Obama, on Monday
offered strong support for Nigeria’s new
President, Muhammadu Buhari, saying he had a
“clear agenda” for defeating the militant Islamist
group, Boko Haram, and was working to root out
corruption.
Speaking as he greeted Buhari on his first visit
to the White House since his election in March,
Obama said the two leaders would discuss ways
to cooperate against the group, which had
wreaked havoc in parts of the West African
country.
Obama told reporters in the Oval Office that
Buhari had integrity and “a very clear agenda in
defeating Boko Haram extremists of all sorts
inside his country.”
Boko Haram has carried out multiple attacks in
northern Nigeria, most notably the April 2014
kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who are
still missing.
The specific tactics Buhari will use against the
group are still unknown, say experts who study
the region.
White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said the
United States could offer intelligence to help the
Nigerian efforts as well as support for
communities hurt by the group.
Buhari’s election is the first democratic power
transition in decades, which Obama called “an
affirmation of Nigeria’s commitment to
democracy,” and the visit is meant to usher in a
new chapter in relations between the two
countries.
The US cooperation with Buhari’s predecessor,
Goodluck Jonathan, had virtually grounded to a
halt over issues including his refusal to
investigate corruption and human rights abuses
by the Nigerian military.
Buhari’s move on July 13 to fire military chiefs
appointed by Jonathan cleared the way for more
military cooperation, the US officials have said.
Since Buhari’s election, Washington has
committed $5m in new support for a multi-
national task force set up to fight Boko Haram.
Obama did not signal whether he might send the
US troops to help train Nigerian forces.


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