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Ex-US diplomat offers solutions to end terror

20 November 2014, 07:00Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - The militant group, Boko Haram’s increasingly bold attacks in Nigeria threaten to fuel further Muslim-Christian violence and destabilize West Africa.

The development makes the group a leading concern for United States policy makers.

This is according to former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, now a Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) senior fellow for Africa policy studies.

He cited Boko Haram's April kidnapping of nearly 300 female students in Chibok, Borno State.

According to Campbell, Boko Haram’s proclamation that it has established an Islamic caliphate has stoked global fears over the insurgents’ rapid ascent in Africa’s most populous country ahead of the February 2015 national elections.

Also Read: Nigeria senate demands military explanation on emergency rule

Campbell, however, warned US policymakers to resist characterizing Boko Haram as simply another foe in the global war on terrorism, since the group’s grievances were primarily local.

“The Boko Haram insurgency,” Campbell explains,

“is a direct result of chronic poor governance by Nigeria’s federal and state governments, the political marginalization of northeastern Nigeria, and the region’s accelerating impoverishment.”

Rather than fighting the militant group solely through military force, he argues, the US and Nigerian governments must work together to redress the alienation of Nigeria’s Muslims.

“Washington should follow a short-term strategy that presses Abuja to end its gross human rights abuses, conduct credible national elections in 2015, and meet the immediate needs of refugees and persons internally displaced by fighting in the northeast,” Campbell said.

- CAJ News

- CAJ News


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