The British government has announced that there is an increasing limit to the assistance it can offer to Nigeria as Boko Haram renew their attacks in the North-East.
The British Government acknowledges the unique nature of the situation and stated that they will continue to interact with Nigeria on the insurgency. They also stated that they are increasingly cautious about the insurgency.
Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Joyce Anelay told the parliament “Nigeria faces a serious threat from Boko Haram. We believe that more than 3,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram this year and more than 1.5 million people have been displaced. We are aware of reports that Nigerian authorities have agreed to a ceasefire with Boko Haram and are in ongoing negotiations. We are also aware of reports of Boko Haram attacks since the ceasefire announcement. We monitor events closely.”
“Boko Haram deliberately targets the weak and vulnerable, causing suffering in communities of differing faiths and ethnicities. It has no regard for human life. We are in continual discussion with the Nigerian authorities to press exactly as the noble Baroness says, and we give as much support as we can in intelligence matters.”
A member of parliament, Caroline Cox who has reportedly visited some of the most affected towns urged the British Government to pressurise Nigeria into being more effective in tackling the insurgency.
“Despite reports of a peace agreement with Boko Haram, to which the Minister refers, local people do not believe that the federal and state authorities are sufficiently willing or able to stop Boko Haram’s reign of terror. Therefore, will Her Majesty’s government make the strongest possible representation to the government of Nigeria to do much more to implement effective policies to protect all its citizens from this escalating terrorism?” Cox said.
Responding to her questions and those posed by other members of the parliament, Anelay pointed out that Britain would give Nigeria the strongest support it could, adding that a Sentinel and Tornado GR4 aircraft had already been deployed to assist in the fight against Boko Haram.
She noted, “We are therefore most cautious in what we say in these matters. What I will say is that it is for the Nigerian authorities to resolve the matter. We will give the strongest support we can.”
Culled from Punch