UK to train Nigerian forces against Boko Haram threat
The UK and Nigeria have signed their first ever security and defence partnership, in an attempt to help Nigeria defeat Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa.
The terror groups are responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 people, with almost two million people still living away from their homes in the north east of the country as a result of their threat. The agreement, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, aims to stop such menace from spreading and posing a direct threat to the UK.
As such, the UK will expand its provision of equipment and training for the Nigerian military to help them protect themselves from the threat of improvised explosive devices used by terrorists, and will also help Nigeria train full army units before they deploy to the North East.
The partnership will also see a new £13 million programme implemented to educate 100,000 children living in the conflict zone whose teachers have fled and schools been destroyed, by providing equipment, teacher training and safe places to learn. It will also introduce a new Nigerian crisis response mechanism, similar to the UK’s COBR system, to help the government respond to incidents like terror attacks so it can protect its citizens and British nationals and businesses in the country.
May said: “No-one should live in fear of being targeted by militants or forced from their homes, and no child should lose out on an education because of the threat of terror. Insecurity, violence and extremism destabilise countries and regions and undermine growth – holding back entire generations from reaching their potential. It is only when people are safe and communities stable that nations have the opportunity to thrive. We are determined to work side by side with Nigeria to help them fight terrorism, reduce conflict, and lay the foundations for the future stability and prosperity that will benefit us all.”