US Concerned About Tackling Boko Haram Menace —State Department

The Strategic Initiatives Unit Chief, Office of the International Religious Freedom, US State Department, Douglas Padgett, has said the US government is committed to dealing with the problem of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Boko Haram is a terror group that continues to wreak havoc in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

Padgett spoke at a briefing on “Religious Freedom and Tolerance” with a delegation of the East-West Center’s 2019 Senior Journalists Seminar at the US Department of State, Washington DC.

He said, “It (Boko Haram) is an old problem which hasn’t gone away and we are concerned about dealing with it. I used to work in the Nigerian office of the department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour and spent a lot of my time thinking about Boko Haram in the early days of 2011 and 2012. I still do.

“Our office will continue to maintain that fair and inclusive governance, provision of government services and a new security approach will amount to dealing with Boko Haram and other issues of violence within the country.”

Saying there had been a proliferation of other groups in the region (North-East), Padgett added, “I don’t have specific stuff for you in terms of our plans to defeat Boko Haram. But we have a number of humanitarian and human rights programmes to deal with it. In Nigeria, a lot of efforts is also ongoing.”

Paggett said, “The drivers of violence that created Boko Haram are not simply religious. There were issues of human rights abuse and how you handle them. I am not blaming the government of Nigeria. I am saying it is a broader and complicated issue. You have to handle a wide range of issues to deal with the problem.”

He also stated that the US government would continue to support efforts to check the Boko Haram menace.

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