Newspaper article International New York Times

U.S. Ready to Broaden Fight against Boko Haram

Newspaper article International New York Times

U.S. Ready to Broaden Fight against Boko Haram

Article excerpt

The Obama administration signaled that it was prepared to expand military cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram as Nigeria swore in a new president, Muhammadu Buhari..

As Nigeria swore in a new president on Friday, the Obama administration signaled that it was prepared to expand military cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the American delegation at the inauguration, was expected to offer increased military assistance in his meeting on Friday with Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's new leader.

"Something we can do quickly is to send advisers," said a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under the department's protocol for briefing reporters. "It could be related to intelligence; it could be something very simple, related to things like logistics."

"We certainly hope to be able to do more," the official added.

Mr. Kerry was among the dignitaries from more than 30 nations who attended the inauguration of the 72-year-old Mr. Buhari. The ceremony, which marked Nigeria's first handover of power from one political party to another since the end of military rule in 1999, was held in Eagle Square.

Wearing a traditional light brown Muslim gown, and holding a Quran, Mr. Buhari promised to uphold Nigeria's Constitution.

"I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody," he said in his inaugural address, highlighting his anticorruption theme.

Mr. Buhari also promised to persevere until "Boko Haram is completely subdued."

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and its largest oil producer, faces several economic problems, which have been aggravated by corruption and poor security.

Concern over Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect that has been mounting deadly attacks against government and civilian targets for years, grew after its abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April 2014.

That abduction led to a widely publicized "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign, which was aimed at raising international concern about the kidnapping and which Michelle Obama supported in a White House radio address. …

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