U.S. to Jonathan: Address Concerns of Vulnerable Communities (TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO)

By Nigerians Saving Nigerians: www.nigerianssavingnigerians.org

Acting Deputy Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, Patrick Ventrell responded to questions about the recent violence in northern Nigeria during a daily press briefing at the State Department. The following is the transcript of the conversation concerning Nigeria at the State Department.

QUESTION: Just one more on Africa. I know there was a question earlier, and I came in a few seconds late, so sorry if I missed something on this. But 200 people have been killed in an attack in Nigeria, and this is really the latest in a string of recent attacks related to Boko Haram. Are you concerned that there’s been really an uptick in violence in recent months? And is the U.S. still supportive of President Jonathan’s posture that Boko Haram is a group that can be negotiated with?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, thanks for the question, Guy. The United States does condemn the violence that took the lives of so many innocent civilians in Baga Borno state. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who died or were injured as a result of these attacks. We support the Nigerian authorities in their efforts to bring the perpetrators of violent acts to justice, and stress the importance of respecting human rights and protecting civilians in all security responses. So we urge all parties to refrain from reprisal attacks.

But really the context, Guy, here is that we’ve been very clear that we want them to respond – Nigerian authorities – but want them to do so respecting human rights and in that broader context. So they have to address these vulnerable communities’ concerns. They have to do so in not necessarily a heavy-handed way, but in one that is effective and focused on their legitimate economic and political needs in the north as well.

QUESTION: In the last year and a half, that has coincided – the Nigerian Government’s attempt to reach out to this group, to create some sort of a relationship and a communication. And I’m wondering whether that’s a policy that is supported in this Department.

MR. VENTRELL: Well, our response is that violent extremism requires more than just a security response. So the group as – Boko Haram exploits legitimate northern grievances to attract recruits and public sympathy. So the response should be to address some of those legitimate needs and concerns of the people in the north so that that’s not being exploited by this group, who clearly has perpetrated some very awful violence.

Michel. Oh, I guess Scott has a follow-up.

QUESTION: The reported use of rocket-propelled grenades by Boko Haram in this violence is an escalation for them. Is there any concern on the part of the State Department that this might indicate what – a fear that you have expressed before, that Boko Haram may be integrated more with this threat of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb across the Sahel?

MR. VENTRELL: I don’t have any particular information on the munitions that were used. But clearly we’re concerned about the context of them trying to have deeper ties with other violent extremists throughout the region, and that’s something that we’re very focused on and watching very closely.”

Watch the video below to see the United States Government condemn the violence in Nigeria.

What are you thinking?

One Response to “U.S. to Jonathan: Address Concerns of Vulnerable Communities (TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO)”

  1. Aldine says:

    The problem of Nigeria is not only the leadership rather all Nigerians, there is no patriotism in all part of the country and the leadership circle is compromised by ignorant personalities. The President’s lapses is not recognizing he’s stands, thinking he is all that it is the president. I read about one time president of the United States, if I may recall Truman or JFK said something that you have to allow other personnel to contribute if you really want to succeed, being you the President is not that you can out smart others. So, Nigeria’ problem is contributed by all, what a shame

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