The United States has announced a $5 billion contribution to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in order to boost military operations against Boko Haram insurgency. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US assistant secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, announced this at a news briefing via telephone from the African Union Summit on Monday.
“We have been working with Nigeria as well as the African countries innovation to address their concerns about Boko Haram because we don’t see this as just a Nigerian problem,” NAN quoted her as saying. “We are having discussions with President Buhari on how we might bolster our support. We have already been working with them and providing information.
“We are providing some training and support and we’ll love to work with the new administration to see how we might increase the level of support to Nigeria. “At the same time, we’ve just announced at the venue of the AU, a five billion dollar contribution to the Multinational Task Force. We are also providing some equipment and support and we have a number of meetings with the countries who are members of the Multinational Joint Task Force to look at other areas we might support.”
Thomas-Greenfield said that Africa had faced “some really horrendous terrorist attacks” over the past two years, citing the West Gate and Garissa University attacks in Kenya and Boko Haram attacks, particularly the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, in Borno state.
“While I would not say Africa is under siege, Africa has some major security challenges that require a very strong and very concerted strategic effort by African countries and partners to address the security concerns of Africa,” she continued.
“The United States is providing a strong support to AU on security, as it has a strong partnership with Africa on security. We are working closely with the Lake Chad Basin countries: Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon to address the issue of Boko Haram.”
She said America had so far trained some 250,000 African peacekeepers, and expressed its highest commitment to security on the continent.