News24

Clinton arrives in Nigeria for talks

2012-08-09 18:05

Abuja - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Nigeria on Thursday to meet President Goodluck Jonathan and was expected to offer assistance in helping the country stop a worsening Islamist insurgency.

Her visit to Nigeria comes with Jonathan under growing pressure to stop the violence in the northern and central regions of the country.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed more than 1 400 people in northern and central Nigeria since 2010, according to Human Rights Watch.

"[Clinton] will be renewing our offers of assistance and help to the Nigerians," a senior State Department official said.

"This is a problem for Nigeria, but also, northern Nigeria borders Cameroon, it borders Niger. We are concerned that this kind of radical network could undermine the security of neighbouring states."

The US offer of assistance is to include helping to develop Nigeria's investigative procedures, including forensics, according to the official.

"We can help them develop mechanisms for tracking and determining individuals who are likely to be engaged in supporting Boko Haram actively," the official said.

Washington would also be willing to help Nigeria develop an intelligence co-ordination centre that would assist the country in integrating information, the official said.

Clinton will spend several hours in the Nigerian capital Abuja before travelling to Ghana for the funeral of president John Atta Mills, who died on 24 July.

She has been on an African tour since 31 July, having already visited Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi and SA. She is also expected to briefly visit Benin.