Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Video - Barack Obama pledges support to Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram

US President Barack Obama has pledged to support his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

In the first meeting between the two since Mr Buhari's election, Mr Obama said the Nigerian leader had a "very clear agenda" for defeating extremism.

The US has committed $5 million (£3.2m; €4.6m) to the fight against Boko Haram since Mr Buhari came to power.

The jihadists have killed thousands in north-east Nigeria since 2009.

Speaking after the two met at the White House, Mr Obama called Nigeria one of the most important countries on the African continent and praised Mr Buhari for tackling corruption, an issue which compromised Washington's relationship with the Nigerian leader's predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

Boko Haram has carried out attacks in northern Nigeria since its insurgency began in 2009, most notably the April 2014 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian school girls who are still missing.

President Obama's wife Michelle got involved in an online campaign to draw attention to the girls' plight, #BringBackOurGirls, and the US sent surveillance flights over Nigeria to help locate them.

However, the US refuses to sell weapons to Nigeria because of concerns over its army's human rights record.


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