US Assistant Secretary of State on African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson
Damilola Oyedele and Senator Iroegbu
The United States Thursday gave reasons why it resisted pressure to label the Boko Haram sect as a terrorist organisation.
The super power nation said it was because while the activities of the militant group should be of concern to Nigeria’s neighbours, its major aim is to discredit the Nigerian government and present it as one that is incapable of protecting its people.
It however clarified that it decided to classify three members of the sect; Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, as terrorists because of the discovery that they are involved with some terrorist groups and have intentions which go beyond discrediting the Nigerian government.
The US Assistant Secretary of State on African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, made these clarifications in Abuja at press briefing where he added that the three men have established links with terrorists and have tried to establish a broader network through their activities.
Speaking on the activities of Al-Shabaab group in Somalia, Carson harped on the need for the group be dissipated.
He emphasised that the US has not been in involved in any form of direct combat with the terrorist group, but rather participated in necessary discussions with the United Nations over the matter and provided the necessary military resources to wage war against the group.
Carson added that the policies of the US towards Africa seek to promote democracy and strengthen democratic institutions and assist the states in their fight against corruption.
The US, he added, also seeks to help the continent’s economic development through market driven policies and promotion of free trade.