UNITED STATES, BUHARI BACK AMNESTY FOR BOKO HARAM

DAILY PUNCH
Thursday 11 April, 2013

The United States of America on Wednesday said it backed the Federal Government’s plan to grant amnesty to members of the violent Islamic sect,Boko Haram.

The Political Counsellor at the Embassy of the USA, Gregory Lawless, said in Abuja that the American government would support amnesty for Boko Haram if it was the solution to ending violence in the north and other parts of the country. “We think it is a positive development. We will work with Nigerian government as it develops its own policy approach as to counter violent extremism,” Lawless said in a response to a question about the US position on the amnesty the Nigerian government was planning to grant the Islamic sect at a teleconference on US-Nigerian Binational Commission.

He added, “Security concerns in Nigeria would be addressed through our regional security cooperation working group as part of the Bi-National Commission. “We are looking at a holistic approach to address the unmet grievances of the population, especially in the north. “Through that mechanism, we think by broadening the scope of response to violent extremism, we believe that we will be addressing some of those issues in a more fundamental way.”

However Lawless said the US had not changed its condemnation of the state pardon granted to former Bayelsa Governor, Dipreye Alamieyeseigha, by President Goodluck Jonathan. “The situation has not changed,” he said.Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Victoria Nuland, at a daily press briefing in Washington had said, “We see this as a setback for the fight against corruption, and also for our ability to play the strong role we’ve played in supporting rule of law and legal institution-building in Nigeria, which is very important for the future of the country obviously. “We have made clear to Nigerians that this puts a question mark on the kind of work that we’ve been trying to do with them. “We haven’t yet taken the kinds of steps that you’re suggesting Matt (the reporter who asked the question), but we’re continuing to look at what’s appropriate.”

But Lawless said that whatever the disappointment was, the US had since moved on with its relationship with Nigeria. “We have a very mature relationship. So we can recognise our differences and opinions on issues. We are moving on; we have a lot of things to do,” he said.

Counting the successes achieved so far by the bi-national commission, Lawless said the commission had successfully integrated civil society into the electoral process prior to the 2011 elections. He said the commission had been able to sustain an elevated dialogue with energy sector officials on policy reforms to increase investment. He said the two countries had also agreed to explore a partnership with the Nigerian Army to build its civil affairs capacity and to build trust between Nigeria’s citizens and the military.

The U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission is a high-level forum for advancing issues of mutual concern. Inaugurated in April 2010 by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation,Yayale Ahmed, the Commission’s five working groups meet regularly to focus and deepen engagement on issues concerning governance, energy, security, agriculture, and the Niger Delta. The Working Groups include Good Governance; Transparency and Integrity; Regional Security Cooperation; Energy and Investment; Food Security and Agriculture, as well as the Niger Delta. The working groups established benchmarks for transparent and inclusive elections, including registering voters, appointing electoral commission leaders, and allocating independent election funding.

On regional security cooperation,Lawless said, “We provided lessons learned from our post-September 11 experiences in an effort to strengthen Nigeria’s community engagement and strategic communications efforts. We offered to help Nigeria develop an intelligence fusion centre to improve their intelligence, analysis and dissemination efforts, although Nigerian officials are still deciding their scope and mission requirements for such a centre.”

According to him, the Energy and Investment working group has focused primarily on reform of Nigeria’s power and hydrocarbon sectors. Lawless explained, “We have been heartened by Nigeria’s ongoing progress on comprehensive power reform incentives and private investment in infrastructure to address massive power shortages. “The United States is providing policy support to strengthen Nigeria’s domestic agricultural policies. The United States supports efforts to expand agricultural lending and otherwise improve private agriculture sector growth.”

He added, “We agreed to collaborate further to build on Nigeria’s amnesty programme by advancing economic development and environmental protection of the Delta. We also committed to partner with Nigeria to enhance regional maritime security and to reduce the inflow of small arms and light weapons”.

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About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in AFRICA PARTNERSHIP STATION, ARMED CONFLICT, BOKO HARAM ISLAMIC STATE MOVEMENT, BORDER SECURITY, BUNKERING, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS, GLOBAL DEFENCE NEWS, GULF OF GUINEA, INFRASTRUCTURE, JOINT SECURITY TASK FORCE, JOINT(MILITARY)TASK FORCE IN THE NIGER DELTA, MARITIME SAFETY AND SECURITY, NIGER DELTA CONFLICT, NIGERIA, NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES, NIGERIAN MILITARY HISTORY, OIL & GAS, RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM, RISK ANALYSIS, SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS, STATE SECURITY SERVICE, TERRORISM, U.S. AFRICA COMMAND, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WEST AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to UNITED STATES, BUHARI BACK AMNESTY FOR BOKO HARAM

  1. beegeagle says:

    This is a vote of confidence in lawlessness, Mr Lawless sir. Why the double standards – ref the unambiguous US response to narco-terrorism in Colombia and Mexico and to violent extremism in Mali, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    There is neither poverty nor corruption in Yemen, Afghanistan or PAKISTAN? The USA provided hundreds of millions of dollars in military/security assistance in Colombia and did not justify or rationalise the drug trafficking and violence by claiming causes steeped in poverty and corruption. The USA joined forces with the Colombians to attack the problem frontally.

    That robust and overt support is needed to support anti-bunkering, counterpiracy and counterterrorist operations in the Niger Delta and in the Far North of Nigeria SANS convenient but glaring double speak.

  2. Number one says:

    Lawless is supporting lawlessness ? This amnesty issue is just a way for the president to silence the calls for amnesty b4 2015 cos it is bound to fail.@ Beegeagle can u confirm news that NAF has taken delivery of a Boeing 747 ?

  3. beegeagle says:

    A Boeing 737-500 coming to the NAF

  4. beegeagle says:

    Groups elsewhere which claim to be fighting for the redistribution of wealth have not gained support and their enemies(the State) are supported by our friends. In our own case, BH who claim to be fighting to create a theocratic order are given a soft landing by people who claim that they are driven by poverty or anti-corruption crusaders…something which BH have never claimed to be one of their grouses, even as our government gets pressured into taking ridiculous measures in the face of brazen acts of terrorism.

    I really want someone to show me the distinction between

    * the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the poor south of The Philippines which have been fighting for a separate homeland for the muslim minority in that country and who have committed outrages such as have landed them on the terror watchlist and led to the deployment of US Special Forces to support Filipino troops with technical advice and training. How are BH beter than they are? Why are they terrorists and BH who have carried out many more dastardly attacks, emancipators?

    * what is the difference between the leftwing narcoterrorists of FARC who are ostensibly fighting for the landless poor – read, land redistribution, social reengineering and to change the rotten political order(that is poverty and corruption) and BH terrorists who do not claim any lofty ideals beyond the entrenchment of a theocratic order. Yet the Colombian defence and security forces have received hardware worth billions of dollars with which to fight the FARC rebels sans any rationalisation of the high ideals which FARC claim to be fighting for while a BH without a cause bar armed proselytization have their antics coated for them in ideals which they have not even claimed to be concerned about? FARC are terrorists while BH are what – pro-poor activists?

    * the PKK are fighting marginalisation(their cultural and linguistic identity suppressed by the Turkish state)..fighting for the independence of an impoverished Kurdistan. Yet, the Turkish state enjoys the support of NATO against the PKK whose reasons for taking up arms are more reasonable than the theocratic ideals of BH and nobody has alluded to poverty being the reason why the PKK are fighting?

    * the Maoist Naxalite rebels are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless Indians and seek to reallocate resources more equitably. Nobody has caved in to their demands and the Indians are unyielding. So why does anyone want the FG to act differently towards a BH with a clearly nihilistic agenda?

    All of those groups, bar the MILF, who have more sensible reasons to be fighting are supposedly terrorists while BH without an agenda beyond naked hegemonic designs are what, freedom fighters and modern-day Robin Hoods?

    So we let off BH since poverty and corruption are IMAGINED to be the causes of the irritation which they feel while groups such as the FARC and Naxalite rebels who have STATED that the enthronement of a just social order is their goal, deserve to be guillotined?

    Well, check out the foregoing for consistency as far as the responses elicited, go!

    • Obix says:

      Beag One! Once again you nailed it! This is outright double standards. In other words, the US has standard descriptions for any group that picks up arms against the state anywhere in the world. Depending on their interests in the said country, such groups are labelled TERRORISTS or EXTREMISTS If the government there is in the good books, otherwise they are mere FREEDOM FIGHTERS or REBELS FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE!

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