US says northerners deserve to live free of violence, terror

By Hassan Haruna Ginsau with agency reports

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday while condemning last week’s attacks in Borno Sate by Boko Haram insurgents said people in the Northern part of the country deserve to live free of violence and terror that has plagued the region in recent times.

“The people of northern Nigeria deserve to live free from violence and from terror. That’s why the United States is providing counterterrorism assistance to help Nigerian authorities develop a comprehensive approach to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram while protecting civilians and ensuring respect for human rights”, Kerry said in a statement.

“Unspeakable violence and acts of terror like the ones committed by Boko Haram last week in northern Nigeria are horrific, wrong and have no place in our world,” Kerry said and underscored a commitment to help Nigerian authorities crack down on the militants the U.S deems a terrorist organization.

Boko Haram gunmen killed about 200 people in the villages of Bama and Izge last week, storming the towns, firing on a school, shooting or burning to death dozens of people and trashing the palace of a traditional ruler in Bama.

Kerry said the United States remains “a committed partner” of Nigeria’s government as it targets Boko Haram and associated groups.

The United States last November designated Boko Haram and Ansaru, as foreign terrorist organizations, making it a crime to provide them with material support.

The White House directed U.S. agencies to block financial transactions with the two groups, which it blamed for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria, including attacks on churches and mosques and the 2011 suicide bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja.

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