The UK has pledged funds of £40m ($57.44m)to help Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also said that Britain would train around 1,000 Nigerian militia in counter-insurgency operations.
The announcements came at the Regional Security Summit in Abuja, Nigeria. “President Buhari has shown strong leadership in the global fight against Boko Haram, a brutal organisation that has raped, murdered and kidnapped innocent civilians, forcing over two million people to flee their homes.
“Their allegiance to, and potential coordination with Daesh [Islamic State] is a reminder of the threat they present to the region and to British interests,” Hammond said in a statement released by the Foreign & Commonweath Office.
The statement continued: “Britain and Nigeria, with support from the US, France, and its neighbours, are making progress to degrade Boko Haram, but we must maintain the momentum to win the war, and build the right conditions for stability in the region.”
Hammond met with key regional leaders to discuss what the international community can do to support Nigeria with its security issues.
The fight against Islamic extremists will be paid out by the UK over a four-year period. The UN Security Council said the talks are to develop “a comprehensive strategy to address the governance, security, development, socio-economic and humanitarian dimensions of the crisis”.
Martin Ewi, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies, told Al Jazeera that Boko Haram is difficult to engage with the more remote areas of Nigeria.
“I believe Buhari [the Nigerian President] is acknowledging the difficulty and that it is not easy for the military to just go out there and elimate Boko Haram,” he said.
“The rural areas have always been neglected when it comes to security and that has always been the problem – the ungoverned places. In many of these regions, the police are only getting to know them now. Now it is coming back to haunt us.”