US to work with Nigerian army to tackle Islamists
The United States plans to work with the Nigerian army to help it combat the threat of the Islamist group Boko Haram which is spreading violence in the west African nation, officials said Tuesday.
But Washington has still not decided whether to put the group on a blacklist of terrorist organizations -- even as gunfire and explosions erupted in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Tuesday.
"This is an issue of ongoing internal deliberations within the United States government," Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson said after two days of high-level talks with Nigerian officials in the US capital.
The administration was "trying to make a decision which is both appropriate, rational and useful" while "taking into account the significance of any decision that we might make on Nigeria and the Nigerian government."
Maiduguri is at the center of Boko Haram's insurgency, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja in August which killed at least 25 people. (...)