Advertisement

U.S. giving $5 million to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria

Troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin are expected to make up a 7,500-strong multinational force.

By
Fred Lambert
Multinational troops from 22 African and European nations pass in review at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2008. Now the United States is pledging to provide $5 million in support of a multinational African force to combat Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense
Multinational troops from 22 African and European nations pass in review at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2008. Now the United States is pledging to provide $5 million in support of a multinational African force to combat Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, June 16 (UPI) -- The United States on Tuesday pledged $5 million to help fund a multinational force in its fight against Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.

In January, the African Union announced the agreed-upon force of 7,500 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin.

Advertisement

However, fearing it would undermine Nigeria's sovereignty, the country's former President Goodluck Jonathan was slow in moving forward on the force's creation, the BBC reported. President Muhammadu Buhari accelerated its formation after his election in April.

The U.S. pledge comes after Buhari attended last week's G7 summit in Germany, where he requested more international help against the terrorist group.

Since 2009, Boko Haram has waged war seeking an Islamic state in Nigeria. The group has been blamed for countless suicide attacks, military assaults and kidnappings.

On Monday, suicide attacks in Chad that killed more than 20 people were blamed on the group, as were late May bombings that killed nearly 60 people at a market and a mosque in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

The Maiduguri attacks came just days after Buhari's nomination. The former military officer had said he would move the Nigerian military's command and control center from Abuja to Maiduguri "until Boko Haram is completely subdued."

The Boko Haram insurgency has killed an estimated 13,000 people and left over a million displaced from their homes. In March the terrorist group became the latest to declare its allegiance to the Islamic State, which is based in Iraq and Syria.

Latest Headlines