Wednesday, 18 February 2015

US Military Agrees To Assist In War Against Boko Haram

The commander of the United States Special Forces Operations in Africa, Maj Gen James Linder has said the United States military will provide communications equipment and intelligence to help African nations in the fight against Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Linder explained that the gesture was part of the annual US-backed ‘Flintlock’ counter-terrorism exercises this year in Chad, adding that the US will provide the technology that would allow African partners to communicate through cell phones, radios as well as computers.

“The system also incorporates a translation function that would allow commanders in francophone countries like Chad to communicate by message with English-speaking officers in Nigeria. The Lake Chad nations are battling Boko Haram and we have a vested interest in that group of nations’ collective success. What Boko Harm is doing is a murderous rampage, about brutality, intolerance and subjugation. There is discussion on how will we provide additional tools, techniques, and material to partner with nations,” Linder said.
The US major general further hinted that at the Flintlock exercises, the United States military will also introduce Cloud-based technology to allow African allies to quickly share intelligence, such as mapping information and the location of potential targets.
According to him, the ninth edition of Flintlock, grouping 1,300 soldiers from 28 African and Western countries, will highlight the importance of military personnel encouraging strong relations with local communities to gain intelligence on terrorist groups.
Linder pointed out that African militaries were well-placed to gather such information, but that the United States could share other kinds of intelligence to enhance the success of operations against the extremist sect.
“It’s the things that we find from flying over a target and having a full motion video, or being able to take pictures. It also includes being able to do a different type of geo-spatial analysis or predictive analysis on the enemy. Washington’s long-term goal is to enable African nations to be sufficiently trained and equipped to face their own security challenges. By 2050, one-third of the global population will be on the African continent,” he said.

Linder stated that the global economy and community needs stable countries in Africa, and that stability can only be achieved by African nation states themselves. He disclosed that West African military commanders have long complained that cross-border operations against the jihadist militants had been foiled by lack of compatible communications equipment.
The terrorist groups in question comprised the al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali as well as Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Boko Haram terrorists killed no fewer than 10,000 people just last year in its uprising to establish an Islamist state in the northern part of Nigeria.



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