Nigeria, Cameroon welcome US troops in Boko Haram fight

Nigeria, Cameroon welcome US troops in Boko Haram fight

Yahoo News | 2015-10-15T20:23:52Z

Lagos (AFP) – Nigeria and Cameroon on Thursday welcomed a US decision to send up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon to help the regional fight against Boko Haram militants.

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said 90 personnel had already been sent and the full contingent would conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya hailed the US deployment as a “precious contribution” to the fight against the Islamists, who have increased their attacks against civilians using suicide bombers in border areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said the deployment was a “welcome development” while the military said it demonstrated cooperation was needed against the Nigeria-based militants, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

“The United States has given the pledge to support the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria and in the region,” Shehu told AFP by telephone.

“This is the fulfilment of that pledge and we are very happy about it. The United States’ move is quite commendable.”

Nigerian military spokesman Colonel Rabe Abubakar added: “This is how the fight can be done collectively with partners cooperating with us to fight against a common cause — terrorism — which has been ravaging the region for some time now.”

At least 17,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, mainly in Nigeria.

Buhari, who took office in May vowing to end the violence and on Wednesday met the US military’s Africa Command chief General David Rodriguez in Abuja, has spearheaded efforts for a new, five-nation fighting force against Boko Haram.

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was due to be deployed in late July but the deadline passed with no new date announced for it to start.

Diplomatic relations between Abuja and Washington were strained under Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, over the United States’ refusal to sell weapons to Nigeria.

Buhari repeated those criticisms in July on a visit to the US capital, asserting the embargo — in place because of his military’s human rights record — was helping Boko Haram.

Washington last year provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance expertise to Nigeria in the hunt for more than 200 girls abducted from their school.

The assistance included drones and spy planes as well as up to 80 military personnel sent to Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.

Amechi’s Comment:

I wish Nigeria and the Cameroon good luck in the efforts of Obama, as their new found friend, to help them defeat Boko Haram by sending General David Rodriguez, AfroCom Commander, which is ridiculous because Obama has just admitted to us that Taliban, ISIS and affiliates are festering everywhere. Hence, I think that commonsense demands that  Africans should ask Obama to go and cure himself before trying to cure others. My point is that America’s track record in destroying terrirists is least impressive and reliable to be trusted.

 

  1. I have been so worried over the US niceties towards President Buhari. I hope he has not forgotten the powers responsible for his ouster as Head of State in the 80ties. Before Buhari was elected, Olusegun Obasanjo told western rulers that Buhari has learned from his past and would not repeat the same “mistakes”. Apparently welcoming the US to fight BokoHaram shows that Obasanjo knew what he was taking about.
    But perhaps more worrisome is the timing of this deployment, why now? that Boko Haram are at their weakest form, the Nigeria Army has been recovering areas captured by Boko Haram on a daily basis. For the first time Boko Haram is asking for negotiation talks. Buhari himself foresees December deadline for total eradication as feasible. So why does the US want to intervene with troops now?

  2. This is a great comment. I am really worried because I have great confidence in Buhari given his track record and lifestyle. He is our last hope and if he fails, God forbid.

  3. Your comment is interesting. Let’s see what he does next, especially on corruption and infrastructure — roads, water and light. Thanks