by Aminu Tukur
The radical Islamist sects, Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da?wa wal-Jih?d, popularly known as Boko Haram and Ansaru was Wednesday designated a foreign terrorist organisations, by the United States government.
The state department said the designations are an important and appropriate step, but only one tool in what must be a comprehensive approach by the Nigerian government to counter the terror groups and also help root out violent extremism, it added.
According to the White House homeland security advisor, Lisa Monaco, in the last several years, Boko Haram and Ansaru have been responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria, including dozens of attacks on churches and mosques, targeted killings of civilians, and the 2011 suicide bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja that killed 21 people and injured dozens more.
The US department added that the designations demonstrate its government’s strong support for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and its efforts to address security challenges in the north.
“All of our assistance to Nigeria stresses the importance of protecting civilians and ensuring that human rights are respected. That assistance and these designations demonstrate US support for the Nigerian people’s fight against Boko Haram and Ansaru,” the State Department said.