Nigeria-US training cancellation 'logistical, not political'

2014-12-05 14:43
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria on Friday said that a decision to cancel US training of its soldiers to fight Boko Haram was a logistical, not a political decision.

The US Embassy in Abuja announced on Monday that the Nigerian government had halted a training programme of an army battalion, which would have developed into a unit to take on the militants.

The cancellation came after Nigeria's ambassador to Washington last month criticised the United States for the "scope, nature and content" of its support for the counter-insurgency.

In particular, he said Washington had failed to provide the weapons required to deliver a "killer punch" to Boko Haram.

But Nigeria's national security spokesperson, Mike Omeri, played down talk of strained diplomatic ties, saying it did not affect the countries' existing military cooperation.

Islamic insurgency

"This is just a training component for one battalion of the Nigerian Army," he told AFP.

"We have had the first and second phase of that training, so it is not as if the whole bilateral military agreement has been suspended. The suspension is logistical and not political."

Omeri was quoted as saying in the Nigerian media on Friday that the cancelled third phase required military equipment to be withdrawn from current operations to be used for training.

The US Embassy had said it regretted the end of the training programme, which had been offered in the wake of Boko Haram's abduction of 276 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria in mid-April.

A number of foreign powers sent surveillance and intelligence specialists to Nigeria to assist the military with the search for the 219 teenagers who are still being held.

Nigeria's military - west Africa's largest - has been unable to end the five-year Islamist insurgency, which has left more than 13 000 dead and displaced more than one million people.

The main opposition has alleged that Nigeria's government has been playing politics with the insurgency, as the worst-hit areas are unlikely to vote for it in next year's elections.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  us  |  nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.