United Kingdom promises aid to Nigeria

Counter-insurgency training to the Nigerian military will be provided.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   June 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, June 12 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Thursday an increase in military and educational aid to Nigeria to suppress Boko Haram militants.

Although Hague did not provide a dollar figure or a timetable, he said Nigeria's army would receive training, and schooling for a million Nigerian children would be underwritten. It is the latest promise of international aid since the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram abducted over 200 schoolgirls in April.

The United States is already training the Nigerian army in counter-insurgency techniques, and 11 million Nigerian children currently do not receive formal schooling. It is unlikely the offer of aid will have an immediate impact on conditions, or the political situation, in the country.

Hague stressed that human rights must be observed in Nigeria, and that the money must be spent effectively. Advocacy groups have accused Nigeria's military of killing hundreds of people in attempted crackdowns following Boko Haram attacks, and claims of corruption in the military have been reported.

He added the assistance would come in conjunction with that of France and the U.S., and that Nigeria's neighbors -- including Niger, Chad, Benin, Cameroon -- would join Nigeria in combining their intelligence operations to "tighten the net" around Boko Haram.

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