Tags: War on Terrorism | nigeria | boko haram | training

Experts: Nigeria Slams Door on US Anti-Terror Effort

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 06:10 PM

Nigeria’s cancellation of a U.S. program providing anti-terror training for its military is a blow to the fight against international jihadists, experts say.

Nigeria abruptly terminated U.S. efforts to train an Army battalion to combat the Boko Haram terror organization, Military Times reported this week.

The decision follows repeated Nigerian complaints over Washington’s refusal to sell it "lethal equipment" due to concern over human-rights abuses.

The Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Ade Adefuye, said last month that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government is "not satisfied with the scope, nature and content" of U.S. support for its military campaign against Boko Haram, Bloomberg News reported.

Boko Haram, a terrorist organization whose leaders have praised jihadist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaida, carries out near-daily attacks in a large swath of northern Nigeria.

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria expressed regret over the cancellation of the program, stating that "we regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram."

Caitlin Poling, an expert on Africa and counterterrorism at the Foreign Policy Initiative, said Nigeria was "very shortsighted" in cancelling the training program.

The Nigerian government "has been our biggest obstacle in countering Boko Haram," she told the Washington Free Beacon. "We’ve been offering greater assistance than we currently have in place for years — they’ve been very reluctant to accept it."

Poling added that Nigerian forces are known for mishandling military equipment and stealing in an effort to line their own pockets. Due to poor maintenance, the military has reportedly been unable to use Israeli drones in an effort to rescue hundreds of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram earlier this year.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that Boko Haram is having little difficulty carrying out mass-casualty terror attacks, including the bombing of a mosque on Friday in which 120 people were killed.

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Nigeria’s cancellation of a U.S. program providing anti-terror training for its military is a blow to the fight against international jihadists, experts say.
nigeria, boko haram, training
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2014-10-03
Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 06:10 PM
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