Saturday, 17 May 2014


If what the Americans are saying is true, then the fight against Boko Haram is very far from being won

The United States has exposed a secret in the fight against the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, saying the Nigerian military is becoming afraid of engaging Boko Haram.

Testifying on Thursday before American Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Welsh III, said: "We’re now looking at a (Nigerian) military force that is, quite frankly, becoming afraid to even engage."

The New York Times reported that the US might choose to minimise its involvement in the search for the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram due to doubts over Nigeria’s military capabilities.

The Pentagon’s Principal Director for African Affairs, Alice Friend, also said, "The Nigerian military has the same challenges with corruption that every other institution in Nigeria does. Much of the funding that goes to the Nigerian military is skimmed off the top, if you will."

General Mark said the United States can't just go in and rescue the girls if Nigerian soldiers are afraid in their own country. In fact, the as it stands now, the US has no confidence in the ability and capability of Nigerian military to rescue the girls even with international help.

US officials have also said that its involvement had also been made difficult because Nigerian officials ignored past warnings to soften brutal tactics that only fuelled the Boko Haram’s insurgency.

At Thursday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, officials condemned the kidnappings and committed American aid to help rescue the girls. But they also expressed frustration at Nigeria’s political and military leaders for failing to heed Washington’s warnings about the extremist group.

"We have been urging Nigeria to reform its approach to Boko Haram," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Robert Jackson, said.

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