Boko Haram remains a threat to us — US lawmakers

By 10:15 Sun, 17 May 2015 Comments

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

The United States’ House of Representatives has said that Boko Haram is still a threat to the American country.

At a hearing held on Friday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, while passing the amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act to combat Boko Haram, the US’ lawmakers stated that the insurgents’ activities could not be ignored despite the heat they currently are experiencing from the Nigerian troops.

The Chairman of the committee, Ed Royce, said, “Boko Haram is notorious for their vicious kidnappings, killings, and pillaging throughout northern Nigeria. But the story is beginning to change – these terrorists are starting to feel some heat. The Nigerian military has higher morale, and the Africa Union task force is cutting off Boko Haram’s supply lines and reclaiming towns. The pieces are coming into place to destroy this terrorist group; the forces fighting Boko Haram just need crucial support to get the job done. Passing this amendment reaffirms US’ support for the forces on the front lines combating Boko Haram.”

Another member of the committee, Carolyn Maloney noted that the Islamist group needed to be dealt with completely.

Maloney said, “I am proud to stand with Chairman Royce in support of his amendment to clearly affirm that Boko Haram presents a threat not just to one nation, but to the world. Combatting Boko Haram is and should remain a national security priority – and we must remain vigilant in fighting this enemy.”

The amended act titled, ‘Report on United States efforts to combat Boko Haram and support regional allies and other partners’, the US’ lawmakers noted that since the terrorist group remains a national security threat to the country, Washington should continue to work closely with all its allies in combating the insurgents.

“Combating Boko Haram is in the national security interest of the United States; the United States should support regional partners, including the African Union-authorised Multinational Joint Task Force, through training and advice and the provision of key enablers to strengthen operations against Boko Haram.

“Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary of State shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on an assessment of the threat of Boko Haram to United States national security interests; a description of United States’ efforts to combat Boko Haram, including the authorities to carry out such efforts and the roles and missions of the Department of Defence and Department of State; a description of military equipment, supplies, training, and other defence articles and services, including by type, quantity, and prioritisation of such items, required to combat Boko Haram effectively and the gaps within regional allies to engage in the mission to combat Boko Haram,” the report said.

The House committee also asked the US government to provide the list of military equipment, supplies, training, and other defence articles and services that the government had provided, “is providing, and plans to provide to regional allies and other partners to combat Boko Haram.”



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