“Boko Haram is equal to, if not better than the Nigerian military” says US Africa Army Command

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“Boko Haram is equal to, if not better than the Nigerian military” says US Africa Army Command

In a statement made by the United States Africa Command and published by NY times a while ago, Boko Haram was described as being better than the debilitated and corruption-plagued Nigerian military: “Ounce for ounce, Boko Haram is equal to if not better than the Nigerian military,” it was concluded.

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Read the report published by New York Times below:

Soon after the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 teenage girls in Nigeria in April, the United States sent surveillance drones and about 30 intelligence and security experts to help the Nigerian military try to rescue them. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, the top general for American missions in Africa, rushed from his headquarters here to help the commanders in the crisis.

Seven months later, the drone flights have dwindled, many of the advisers have gone home and not one of the kidnapped girls has been found. Many are believed to have been married off to Boko Haram fighters, who in the past six months have seized hundreds more civilians, including children, planted bombs in Nigerian cities and captured entire towns.

President François Hollande of France, third from the right, was joined by the heads of state of five West African countries, including Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, third from the left, in Paris on Saturday.West African Nations Set Aside Their Old Suspicions to Combat Boko HaramMAY 17, 2014

In Washington, that fleeting moment of cooperation between Nigeria and the United States in May has now devolved into finger-pointing and stoked the distrust between the two countries’ militaries. Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States has accused the Obama administration of failing to support the fight against Boko Haram, prompting the State Department to fire back with condemnations of the Nigerian military’s dismal human rights record.

“Tensions in the U.S.-Nigeria relationship are probably at their highest level in the past decade,” Johnnie Carson, the State Department’s former top diplomat for Africa, said in an interview. “There is a high degree of frustration on both sides. But this frustration should not be allowed to spin out of control.”

Here in Stuttgart, officials at the headquarters of United States Africa Command offered their own bleak assessment of a corruption-plagued, poorly equipped Nigerian military that is “in tatters” as it confronts an enemy that now controls about 20 percent of the country.

“Ounce for ounce, Boko Haram is equal to if not better than the Nigerian military,” said one American official here, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss operational reports.

The violence is in the meantime spilling into neighboring countries like Cameroon, which carried out its first airstrikes against Boko Haram this week, after militants overran a military base and attacked five villages there. Despite Boko Haram’s advances, United States Embassy officials in Abuja said Nigeria had canceled the last stage of American training of a newly created Nigerian Army battalion.

The United States’ original effort to help locate and rescue the girls produced scant results, American and Nigerian officials said, in part because of distrust. Although the United States reached an agreement with Nigeria last spring to share some intelligence, American officials did not include raw intelligence data because they believe that Boko Haram has infiltrated the Nigerian security services.

The United States has flown several hundred surveillance drone flights over the vast, densely forested regions in the northeast where the girls were seized, but officials in Stuttgart said that with few tips to guide the missions, the flights yielded little information, while diverting drones from other missions in war zones like Iraq and Syria.”

 

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