Saturday, 17 May 2014

# Africa News # America

Nigerian soldiers becoming afraid to fight – US General

The United States has said that the Nigerian military is becoming afraid of engaging the Boko Haram insurgents.

Testifying on Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US Air Force Chief of staff, Gen. Mark Welsh III, said, “We’re now looking at a military force that is, quite frankly, becoming afraid to even engage. The United States doesn’t have the capacity, the capability to go rescue every kidnapped person around the world.”

The New York Times reported that the US might choose to minimise its involvement in the search for the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram due to doubts over Nigeria’s military capabilities. Continue...



Saturday PUNCH learnt that the US had questioned the ability of the Nigerian military to rescue the girls even with international help.

The Pentagon’s Principal Director for African Affairs, Alice Friend, also said, “The Nigerian military has the same challenges with corruption that every other institution in Nigeria does. Much of the funding that goes to the Nigerian military is skimmed off the top, if you will.”

US officials have also said that its involvement had also been made difficult because Nigerian officials ignored past warnings to soften brutal tactics that only fuelled the Boko Haram’s insurgency.

The size of the Sambisa Forest is also believed to make the search for the girls difficult.

“We are basically searching for these girls in an area that’s roughly the size of West Virginia, so it’s a tough challenge, to be sure,” state Department spokesman, Marie Harf, said on Thursday.

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