Boko Haram tops US-Africa summit’s agenda

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The United States Government has said 50 African heads of government and states have signified interests to participate in the 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled to open in Washington DC on Monday..

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US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated that the summit, which she described as “the first of its kind” was aimed at further strengthening ties with “one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions.”

Thomas-Greenfield spoke during a telephonic media briefing with select journalists on the continent monitored by our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday.

According to her, the summit with the broad theme, ‘Investing in the Next Generation’, would focus on US-African partnership, particularly in containing the challenges posed by extremist groups such as the Boko Haram in West Africa and the Al Shabaab in East Africa.

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The top US diplomat noted that the US government was working closely with its Nigerian partners and all other countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the West African sub-region.

Thomas-Greenfield said, “We are working with Nigeria and Nigeria’s neighbours. Following the kidnapping of Chibok girls we sent a large inter-agency team to Nigeria to work with the Nigerian government in terms of developing a strategy for dealing with how to get the Chibok girls returned and also on how to deal with the Boko Haram.

“We have participated in a lot of discussions with leaders in the region (West Africa). The Nigerian government is also going to host us very soon to follow up on the areas of discussions.

“We have assisted Nigeria with information that we have been able to gather and we would be having a meeting while the summit is taking place on Boko Haram.” (Punch)

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