boko haram

General Rodriguez’s claim challenges Nigeria’s official position on the seven-year old insurgency that has so far claimed about 20,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people. Rodriguez’s assertion comes almost two months after President Muhammadu Buhari told the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, that the terrorist group no longer controlled Nigerian territory.

Rodriguez spoke on Tuesday in response to a question during testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

His comment about Boko Haram came in response to a question by Senator Angus King of Maine who asked about Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram more than ninety minutes into the committee hearing. Boko Haram is still holding territory in Northern Nigeria, commander of the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), David Rodriguez, has said.

“Is Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram growing, are they adding members? I know they don’t hold territory, are they adding areas of influence?” the Senator asked.

“Actually sir, Boko Haram does hold some significant territory in Northern Nigeria as do Al-Shabaab in limited areas of Somalia,” Rodriquez said.

He added that recently there is a tactical upswing in Al-Shabaab’s operations in Somali but did not elaborate on Boko Haram’s operations, adding in his written testimony to the Senate Committee that containing and degrading the ISIL-affiliated Boko Haram remains one of AFRICOM’s top priority.

“We are watching carefully for signs that the threat posed by Boko Haram to U.S. persons is growing as a result of the group’s alignment with ISIL,” Rodriguez said. He praised MNJTF allies and partners such as the African Union, France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union for engaging in the counter-Boko Haram effort.

“Our engagement now can assist our African partners in realizing their potential and gaining the capability to solve African problems,” Rodriguez said.

“African solutions to African problems are, in the long run, in the best interest of Africans, Americans, and indeed the world.” READ Rodriguez, a four-star general, became the third commander of AFRICOM in April 2013. U.S. Africa Command is one of six unified geographic combatant commands within the United States Department of Defense unified command structure.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post