Dagvin Anderson, commander of U.S Special Operations Command in Africa, has warned Nigeria that Islamic terrorist groups like Al-Qaida are deep in Northern Nigeria with the main goal of taking over the southern states, especially the oil-producing regions. Anderson spoke during a digital press briefing this week that the American government is engaging with Nigeria on intelligence sharing and understanding of what the terrorists are doing.
In his words” This intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the Government of Nigeria to provide them with an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaida are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas.”
The American army general stressed that Nigeria has to lead the way in the fight against terrorism as well as provide an enabling environment for partnerships.
” No nation can come in and fix that problem for Nigeria. We can assist with that – and it’s the United States can assist, the United Kingdom, other countries can come in, many countries can come and assist with that partnership – but ultimately it takes leadership from Nigeria in order for us to focus our efforts,” Mr Anderson said.
“We need to understand where Nigeria wants to focus those efforts so we can partner appropriately to have the best effect.
“We have partnered with great effect with Nigeria in counterterrorism in the past. We’ve had good engagements with their air force in particular and providing C-208 capability, which is a light, fixed-wing ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] platform, very capable, and we’ve had a good engagement. We’ve had good engagements with their air force in integrating their air force with their ground forces in order to make their air force more effective.
“Nigeria is a large country, it’s got a lot of territories to cover, and so it’s critical that they have that air component and that air engagement. So we have had positive engagements there.”