According to a July 16th report in Foreign Policy, the United States government does not plan to provide any of the coveted surveillance necessary for the mission to counter Boko Haram in Nigeria. This as Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari eagerly heads to the White House with a robust delegation to meet officially with President Barrack Hussein Obama.
Boko Haram: A Real Deadly Threat To West Africa
Boko Haram is comfortably the top most terror organization in the world. In spite of the United State Department acknowledging in a report this June that Boko Haram is the most deadly terror organization in the world, having “killed more people” in 2013 and 2014 than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS or any other terror organization, the White House according to officials referenced by Foreign Policy, ranks Boko Haram as “low priority.”
In January this year Boko Haram carried out the world’s most deadly single terror attack of the entire decade, killing over 2500 innocent people, mainly Muslims in Baga fishing community, at the border of Borno state. In view of the US stance, it is clearly not surprising why there was a “global blackout” on this event which was submerged by a miniscule terror attack in France in which about five people died. This illustrated not just the US posture but the empathy void of the entire Western world towards Black Africa and its crisis. Darfur once again.
Also Read: Buhari in Cameroon Wednesday over Boko Haram
Boko Haram continues to launch insurgent attacks across towns in Nigeria’s north, killing scores and raising towns to the ground. The group also almost daily employs little girls whom it straps with bombs and detonates in the middle of crowded places, Markets, Mosques and Churches. In the past thirty days only the group has killed as many as a thousand Nigerians and Chadians, continuing to surpass the worsts of ISIS. Yet it took years and much canvassing from right groups and activists for the US to finally and reluctantly list the group as a Foreign Terror Organization, FTO.
Actually Pledged To ISIS
In March this year, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS. Several terrorists from Nigeria have been found training with ISIS in fulfilling that bond. This Month, Boko Haram, now the African arm of ISIS, posted their first ISIS-style beheading video. While ISIS in the Middle East is a little bit more of a concern to the US because of economic and strategic interests, Boko Haram, now ISIS in Black-African Nigeria is apparently of little to no concern to the Obama administration.
While according to the Pentagon budget, the US spends $9 million-a-day fighting ISIS, a total of $2.74 billion since August 2014, it has only committed to contributing $5 million to the Buhari-lead Multi-national military mission of Nigeria and its neighbors against Boko Haram. That’s less than it costs Obama to fly for a three-day sightseeing trip to Ireland.
If not the dearth of military equipment, the financial numbers say it all about US’ concern with West Africa’s deadly problem. Perhaps by accident or by expectation, Nigeria’s News Agency, NAN erroneously reported the US was contributing $5 billion to Nigeria. US hastily corrected the error: “get it straight, $5 million.”
Not Much Change From Previous Posture
The current US posture continues the trend through the prior regime of Nigeria’s corruption embellished, lackadaisical and “incompetent” President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. During his almost six-year tenure, accused of operating a highly corrupt, inefficient military engaged in gross human right abuses and war crimes, Jonathan failed to get any meaningful support from the United States.
It can be recollected that not until the abduction of 234 girls from a school in Chibok in April of 2014 got advocates which included our ENDS organization to via substantial media uproar with campaigns like the viral “Sambisa Forest: Call For Jihad To Free Abducted 200 Girls” and later the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, woo international attention and support, did the US send limited surveillance planes to Niger and a handful of men to Nigeria to run assistance missions. These were determinately rate and time limited however and within a few months the two Cessna surveillance aircraft were pulled out from the Boko Haram cause and sent elsewhere to “more important missions."
Also Read: Boko Haram fighters behead three in Cameroon raid
The cancellation of military training by the Nigerian administration was cited as a main reason why the US got even more pissed with Jonathan, and why the US blocked Nigeria from purchasing needed Cobra helicopters from Israel.
Recognizing the US’ excuse of military brutality, criminality and corruption by the Security chiefs under the Jonathan administration as documented in Amnesty and other reports, the Buhari government a week to the US trip fired all Security chiefs and placed the nation’s Security adviser under house arrest. Apparently this is not enough as the US according to FP is still not willing to seriously assist Nigeria, coming seemingly desperate with begging bowl.
Obama’s policy however does not sit well even with US lawmakers who “want the United States to do more.”
“The Nigerians ‘can be assisted mightily by the assets that we have, such as satellite technology for tracking and identifying positions by Boko Haram,” Royce told FP.’
A Promise And Alternatives
As President Buhari visits this Monday, the least Obama can do is promise that if Buhari acts right he will give Nigeria reasonable support.
Nigeria is well advised to be ready to make the important decisions in the best interest of protecting the lives of its people including looking elsewhere (including internally) in a hurry and without clueless deadly delay as former President Jonathan is accused of.
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