U.S Clarifies Assistance To MNJTF: Says It's $5m And Not $5bn As Widely Reported
BEVERLY HILLS, June 17 (THEWILL) – The United States government has said its financial pledge to the multinational joint task force fighting the Boko Haram in West Africa will be $5 million and not $5 billion as widely reported in the Nigerian media courtesy of a feed from Nigerian government owned news agency, NAN.
United States Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield had during a press briefing longside members of the U.S government delegation to the African Union Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa informed journalists about the development.
NAN said it monitored the briefing.
The U.S Government statement reads: “Clarification of U.S. Assistance to Fight Boko Haram (June 16, 2015)
… Members of the U.S government delegation to the African Union Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa briefed reporters on the range of U.S. engagement in Africa. It was widely reported that the United States is offering $5 billion to the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram. The U.S. Embassy wishes to clarify that the amount is $5 million. Below is an excerpt of the transcript from the press conference:
MODERATOR: Thank you. The next question comes from the…from a journalist at The Punch, in Nigeria. “With the renewed commitment of Nigeria and its neighbors to combat Boko Haram, what specific assistance is the U.S. offering?”
ASSISTANT SECRETARY LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We have been working with Nigeria, as well as the other countries in the region, to address their concerns about Boko Haram, because we don't see this as just a Nigeria problem. And with the new government, we are having discussions with them on how we might bolster our support. That said, we have already been working with them on providing information, providing some training and support, and we look to, with this new administration, to see how we might increase the level of support that we are providing to Nigeria.
At the same time, we have just announced since I have been here at the AU, a $5 million contribution to the Multinational Task Force. This is funding going to the AU. We are also providing some equipment and support, and we had a number of meetings with the countries who are members of the Multinational Task Force to look at other areas that we might support.”