Wednesday, November 13, 2013
US Designates Boko Haram, Ansaru Terrorist Organisations
known as Ansaru as terror groups, bowing to months of pressure to move
against the brutal insurgents, AFP reported Wednesday.
With the blacklisting, the two groups have been officially designated
Foreign Terrorist Organisations, which will bar any United States firm
or citizen from assisting them as well as lead to the freezing of all
their assets in the US.
"These designations are an important and appropriate step, but only
one tool in what must be a comprehensive approach by the Nigerian
government to counter these groups to help root out violent
extremism," the US State Department said in a statement.
The Islamist insurgency has claimed thousands of lives since 2009
mainly in Nigeria's restive northeast and caused international concern
over its potential to spread across porous borders into other nearby
"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," key
White House homeland security advisor, Lisa Monaco, said in a
"By cutting these terrorist organisations off from US financial
institutions and enabling banks to freeze assets held in the United
States, these designations demonstrate our strong support for
Nigeria's fight against terrorism and its efforts to address security
challenges in the north," the statement added.
US officials accused Boko Haram of links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb, while Ansaru is a splinter faction that earlier this year
kidnapped and executed seven foreign construction workers.
Emergency rule in the northeast has largely pushed Boko Haram fighters
from urban areas into the countryside over the last six months, but
attacks have continued unabated.
"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
President Barack Obama met President Goodluck Jonathan in September
and urged him to pursue a comprehensive counterterrorism approach that
uses law enforcement tools effectively, creates economic opportunity,
and ensures that human rights are protected and respected.
Reacting to the US' decision, the Attorney General of the Federation
(AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who spoke with
journalists last night, said: "The US stance is a welcome development;
we salute the US government for partnering with the federal government
to rout out terrorism.
"This step will assist this nation to deal with these renegades. It
will also help in strengthening the proscription of Boko Haram by the
"We urge other super powers to emulate the US government to check
terrorism in any part of the world. A threat to any nation by the
insurgents is a threat to global peace."