We’ve not given up on Chibok girls – US

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Ahead of the second anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State, the United States government has reassured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to locate and rescue the girls.

The US said that it was providing a range of security assistance to Nigeria and that it had stepped up information-sharing efforts.

“One component of our strategy is providing support to the Multinational Joint Task Force, which includes soldiers from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Benin. We are providing advisers, intelligence, training, logistical support and equipment. This is part of a regional approach to a problem that transcends borders.

“And as the second anniversary of the Chibok girls’ captivity approaches, we continue to actively support the efforts to locate these girls – none of us has given up on the fight to bring these girls home. We are equally concerned about the thousands of other victims of Boko Haram, which by some measures is the most deadly terrorist organisation in the world today,” the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said at the US Institute of Peace.

According to her, through the Security Governance Initiative, which President Barack Obama launched in 2014 with six African partners including Nigeria, the American government is exploring ways to enhance the management of security and justice systems so that Nigeria can provide needed services, including in the North-East, “more efficiently and effectively.”

Thomas-Greenfield stated further that Nigeria needed to make important moves in its efforts to defeat Boko Haram.

“First, it is critical that the foot soldiers of Boko Haram – especially those who may not have joined wilfully – are able to leave the group and eventually be accepted back into their communities. The need for these pathways is one of the key lessons we’ve learned from conflicts across the globe. We are ready to help Nigeria support and encourage such defections and reintegration. This is difficult but necessary work.”

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