President Muhammadu Buhari said he expected Boko Haram’s insurgency to be “completely obliterated” by the end of the year, moving back an earlier deadline given to the armed forces.
“Structured attacks by the insurgents have reduced,” Buhari said on Wednesday at an audience with U.S. General David Rodriguez, according to a statement from his office. “We should see the final routing of Boko Haram as an organized fighting force.”
Despite dislodging the Islamist rebels’ hold on territory in the northeast this year, bombings in towns and cities, along with remote village massacres continue. Buhari had previously ordered the top command of the military to put an end to the insurgency by mid-November.
Buhari said the U.S. had sent training teams and equipment. The president also asked for greater co-operatation in curtailing rampant oil theft. The U.S. last year blocked the sale of American-made Cobra helicopters to Nigeria due to military human rights concerns. In response, Nigeria halted a U.S. counterterrorism training program for a vetted army battalion.