The four African countries bordering Lake Chad currently combating the Nigeria-based jihadist group Boko Haram will receive $40 million in humanitarian assistance from the United States, according to Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations.
Reuters reports, “The money was to help about seven million people affected by the insurgent group that has killed around 15,000 people.”
After meeting with President Biya, Power told reporters:
I underscored to these leaders that the United States is committed to partnering with Cameroon to defeat Boko Haram. Defeating Boko Haram and neutralizing its impact so that civilians feel safe requires work on multiple fronts, and we are working on multiple fronts here in Cameroon and also in the broader Lake Chad Basin region. We are training and equipping regional militaries and we are sharing intelligence with those forces to strengthen the region’s capacity to mount a coordinated fight against Boko Haram. The United States will stand with Cameroon until Boko Haram is vanquished.
Power also “attended a ceremony to burn 2,000 tusks in a bid to end elephant poaching,” reports Reuters, adding that her trip included visits to Chad and Nigeria.
The four countries that border Lake Chad include Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and Nigeria, all of which are contributing military forces to fight Boko Haram.
“We discussed the monstrous threat posed by Boko Haram and we agreed, and he [Cameroon President Biya] was very forceful on this point, that the military response alone could not succeed in defeating Boko Haram in the long-term,” reportedly said the U.S. envoy.
Reuters quoted Power as saying, “Respect for human rights, good governance, economic and forest development and a focus on civil society were essential components of the [anti-Boko Haram] campaign.”
Power was expected to visit the African region’s Multinational Joint Task Force, which includes troops from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Benin.
Boko Haram has pledged its loyalty to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). The United States has contributed troops and drones to combat the jihadist group.
In late February, the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) said that America had offered to send special operations troops to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram.
“At the request of the Nigerian government, the SOCAFRICA (Special Operations Command Africa) component of USAFRICOM conducted a preliminary assessment regarding the feasibility of resuming a limited advise-and-assist mission alongside select Nigerian units,” said the U.S. military in a statement.
The deployment would include a “platoon-sized” team, typically meaning a group of between 12-30 troops, noted USAFRICOM.
“Medics in the convoy treated him but he died of his injuries,” notes Reuters.
“I joined the (Cameroonian) governor of the area… the leading U.N. official who manages the humanitarian and development response and Ambassador Hoza, and we visited with the boy’s family to offer our profound condolences,” Power said in a speech.
Power urged the international community to aid the development of areas affected by Boko Haram.