US Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has dismissed any possibility of putting a timeframe to ending Boko Haram, but a comprehensive approach to gradually eliminating the insurgence was possible.
The envoy said that rather than working toward a timeframe to end the insurgency, the summit, which continued yesterday, would ensure that the underlined issues were addressed to gradually end it.
“I don’t want to put a timeframe on the defeat of Boko Haram but we are going to be more effective, apt and have a comprehensive approach.
“It may take time, for example, to stabilise communities freed from Boko Haram and to rebuild them; that is part of sustainable solutions which is going to prevent them from returning.
“This will help because if you defeat Boko Haram and you are not able to deal with the underlying problems, it may make some people to be extremists.
“The Nigerian government and regional governments have to deal with the immediate challenge and the underlying elements, not timeframe,” he said.
He expressed the US government’s determination to tackle the insurgence in the Lake Chad Basin, noting that “we are extremely vigilant about Boko Haram going for training in Libya and come back, we want to cut the existing connection.’’
He said that Nigeria and the US would together develop a comprehensive approach to ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin stressing, “What we are working on is truly a comprehensive approach to the challenge posed by Boko Haram.
“The military component is critical; it is necessary, but it is not sufficient. A comprehensive approach has to include taking care of people in their home communities with good governance, with access to actual resources and to jobs so that they are not susceptible to being pulled into extremism out of desperation.
“It has to include support, particularly for displaced persons, as well as refugees so that they too can have some basic livelihood,” Blinken said adding that American government would ensure safe return of Chibok of the abducted Chibok school girls and other victims in Boko Haram’s custody.
“We are committed to finding the Chibok girls and many others taken by Boko Haram and their families and communities.
“The military gains have to be matched by civilians’ commitment in securing the liberated areas and in preparation for the careful return of the 2.5 million internally Displaced Persons,” he said stressing that the US was delighted with the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption and terrorism.

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