By Bayo Akinloye
Following the recent release of many of the Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by a terrorist group suspected to be Boko Haram, the United States Government has said there still remained enormous challenges in Nigeria which would require the attention of the United Nations and other international players.Â
This was disclosed in statement made available to our correspondent yesterday, quoting remarks by the American Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, during the International Advisory Council’s closing luncheon held at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington recently.
â€œSo itâ€™s a whole-of-government effort. It sounds trite to say, but itâ€™s certainly true. We work closely with our colleagues at the Department of Defence, USAID, and the State Department. I was in Abuja, Nigeria a few months ago, and the challenges are enormous. The threat from Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa, particularly in north-western Nigeria, is very serious, as weâ€™ve seen just in the last few weeks with the kidnapping of another 110 schoolgirls, most of who have been released, but only on the condition that they not are allowed to go back to school, which is astounding on its face. But weâ€™re thankful that at least most of those young girls have been released. But weâ€™ve got to address the security situation.
â€œBut there are deeper problems â€“ economic and social â€“ that require not just U.S. Governmentâ€™s assistance but assistance from a wide array of private organisations, other countries, and the United Nations. So thatâ€™s what weâ€™re looking to mobilise to address the causes of the refugee flows out of that area and prevent these crises from developing,â€ the American diplomat stated.
Sullivan added that the problems of illegal migration and terrorism facing Nigeria and few other African countries would require more efforts and global cooperation to solve.
He disclosed that the US would work more closely with the G5 countries and national governments to tackle the issues.
â€œLooking at what we do in the U.S. Government, Iâ€™d focus, for example, on Africa, particularly in countries like Nigeria, the countries in the Sahel and Northern Africa, the tragic scenes that we have seen of refugees and migrantsÂ leaving Libya, Tunisia, Algeria for southern Europe.Â
And those people are coming from countries farther south in Africa, where there is conflict, poverty, et cetera. So weâ€™ve got to have â€“ from the U.S. Governmentâ€™s perspective, it requires an integrated strategy with our colleagues at the Department of Defence to partner host governments.Â
â€œFor example, the countries in the Sahel, the so-called G5 â€“ working with them to address the terrorism problems that are presented in the region, to establish a baseline of security so that humanitarian assistance, development assistance can flow into the region, and remove the causes of people who are fleeing those countries, risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean to get to hope for a better future in Europe.â€Â