ABUJA, Nigeria, July 17 (UPI) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he seeks $1 billion in foreign funds to subdue the militant group Boko Haram in his country.
He did not specify which countries will be asked to supply aid, but in a letter to Parliament seeking approval to pursue a loan, Jonathan said the funding would "upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of the (Nigerian) armed forces."
Jonathan has been criticized for failing to stop Boko Haram -- a Muslim militant group responsible for thousands of deaths during its five-year campaign to establish a hardline Islamic state in Nigeria, and responsible for the still-unresolved kidnapping of over 200 girls from their school in April.
A planned meeting Tuesday between Jonathan and parents of the missing girls was canceled suddenly. A member of the "Bring Back Our Girls" social media campaign said Jonathan agreed to the meeting only after Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai suggested he arrange it, angering parents who believe he has been slow to respond to Boko Haram and to the abduction of the girls.