US funds border security program in Nigeria
(8 September 2014)
A top US diplomat confirms that a US-funded border security program to help Nigeria and nearby countries combat militant group Boko Haram is underway, according to The Telegraph and Voice of America. The border security program is set to launch just as Boko Haram have captured the city of Bama in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram began its insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009. The Nigerian government declared states of emergency in three states and deployed troops to combat the insurgency, but according to US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, “the frequency and scope of Boko Haram's terror attacks have grown more acute and constitute a serious threat” to Nigeria. Recently, Boko Haram insurgents have attacked villages in neighboring Cameroon and have proclaimed an Islamic caliphate in northeastern Nigeria.
Thousands of people have died in clashes with Boko Haram, and the group also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of over 200 girls from a school in April 2014. The UN refugee agency reported that over 5,000 Cameroonians and 645,000 Nigerians have been displaced by the violence.
Sources: US plans major border security programme in Nigeria to help fight Boko Haram, 5 September 2014, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/11076638/US-plans-major-border-security-programme-in-Nigeria-to-help-fight-Boko-Haram.html
US to Launch Border Security Program in Nigeria, 4 September 2014, Voice of America, http://www.voanews.com/content/us-to-launch-border-security-program-in-nigeria/2438926.html