Defeating Boko Haram will be a long fight – US

By The Citizen

The United States government has said the fight against Boko Haram insurgents will be a long fight.

It therefore called on academics and think tanks to assist in resolving the Boko Haram crisis by finding out the underlying causes of the insurgency.

Speaking recently at the Capitol Visitor Centre, US House of Representatives in Washington, the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the ongoing battle against the terrorist group would require perseverance and huge resources.

'We need academics to help us understand the underlying conditions that led to Boko Haram. We need think tanks to identify creative solutions. We need the business community to help bring investments in the region and to create jobs and spur greater economic development in the affected areas. We need our ambassadors. We need our African ambassadors based here in Washington to advocate for more resources in the fight against Boko Haram, and greater cooperation among the Lake Chad Basin countries.

'This will be a long fight that requires perseverance, and it is going to require strong resources. We all know the stakes are high. We know what the stakes are. But now is the time — now is the time for us to work together with our African partners to redouble our efforts to defeat Boko Haram and create the bright future — and it's a bright future that all of the people of Africa deserve. But I would say in this case, particularly, a bright future for the people of northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin,' the US official said.

According to Thomas-Greenfield, there is hardly any protest whenever people are killed in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.

She noted that in the US people protest human rights violations but that 'there's rarely a protest every single day when we hear that Boko Haram is killing people.'

'The outcry in Nigeria and internationally over the killings of the Chibok school girls was impressive - but it was slow. We waited to hear what people would say. Those protests, once they started, helped greatly to raise awareness of Boko Haram's brutality. But they were only a start. We must say something,' she said. Punch