US plans major border security program in Nigeria

Women and children, who escaped from violence after Boko Haram insurgents attacked their community weeks ago, sit together at the internally displaced persons camp at Wurojuli, Gombe State September 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Samuel Ini)

ABUJA: A top U.S. official for Africa says the United States is preparing to launch a "major" border security program for Nigeria and its neighbors to combat the increasing number and scope of attacks by Islamist extremists.

Thursday's announcement from assistant secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield comes amid reports that Nigerian Islamist extremists have begun attacking villages in neighboring Cameroon.

Thomas Greenfield told a meeting in Nigeria's capital of U.S. and Nigerian officials that "the situation on the ground is worsening."

She said the initiative is designed to improve transparency, governance and effectiveness of key elements of the Nigerian security sector.

Nigerian troops have been accused of killing thousands of innocent civilians in a scorched-earth response to the Boko Haram insurgency, and some soldiers have accused their colleagues of colluding with the extremists.





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