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Author Topic: United States builds wall at Nigeria-Niger border in move against Boko Haram  (Read 226 times)

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Offline mastercode

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About 20 members of the United States Special Operations Forces are quietly building a wall at the Nigeria-Niger border in a move against the Boko Haram insurgent group, according to a report by Reuters on Friday.

It was learnt that the development is part of US President Barack Obama?s new counter-terrorism strategy in the African continent.

According to the report, the soldiers, who are providing security for the country, do not go into combat or wear uniforms, but have been quietly trying to help Niger build a wall against Boko Haram?s incursions and its recruitment of the country?s youths.

The insurgent group has expanded from its base in North East Nigeria to threaten the region. Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, had pledged its loyalty to the Islamic State in March 2015.

Reuters stated in its report that about 1,000 US Special Operations Forces had been deployed across Africa.

The Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Forces in North and West Africa, Army Col. Bob Wilson, told the news agency that in Chad, Nigeria, Niger and elsewhere, the officers were executing Obama?s relatively low-risk strategy of countering Islamic extremists by finding local partners willing to fight rather than deploying combat troops by the thousands.

He said, ?The new approach, which Obama announced in May 2014, is far from being a silver bullet for the US in its global battle against Islamic militancy. The indirect strategy appears to be faltering in the Middle East, where the United States has found few reliable allies on the battlefield in Syria. In Iraq, US-trained and -equipped forces evaporated last year in the face of Islamic State?s offensive.

?In Niger, there are signs of success against Boko Haram, although progress will likely be slow in a years-long effort.

?For the region, this is going to be a struggle that?s going to be with them for a long time, not just in Niger, but elsewhere.?

Meanwhile, the US soldiers in Niger have described their mission as a sharp and welcome pivot from the Iraq and Afghan wars, where virtually all of them served. They didn?t, however, state how long their presence would last.

?It?s a totally different approach to the problem set,? an American team sergeant spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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