Nigeria Says US Support Lacking in Boko Haram Battle
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Nigeria's envoy to Washington criticized US support in the battle against Boko Haram militants as insufficient, including failure to share enough intelligence and sell needed weaponry to fight the militant group.
Ambassador Ade Adefuye, in remarks posted on the Nigerian Embassy's website, appealed for greater backing from Washington and rejected claims of human rights abuses that have limited some US military assistance.
"Our people are not very happy with the content of America's support in the struggle against Boko Harm," Adefuye said.
"There is no use giving us the type of support that enables us to deliver light jabs to the terrorists when what we need to give them is the killer punch."
Asked about the remarks, an Obama administration official said Washington remained committed to helping Nigeria address its extremist threat and supported its efforts free Boko Haram's kidnap victims.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who faces an election in February, has come under sharpening public criticism for his government's apparent inability to check Boko Haram's five-year insurgency, which has ravaged the poor northeast corner of Africa's biggest economy.
His government's announcement of a ceasefire last month failed to stop almost daily attacks, which this year have included the mid-April abduction by Boko Haram of more than 200 schoolgirls from a northeastern town.
"The people of Nigeria are increasingly frustrated by not only the failure to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls but the failure to stop what has become an increasingly effective insurgent offensive," said J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council think tank.
The United States ramped up its support for Nigeria in the wake the abduction of the schoolgirls, including high-tempo surveillance flights and efforts to bolster intelligence sharing. It later acknowledged a reduction in flights, Reuters reported.