Washington Felicitates Biya for Repulsing Boko Haram’s Efforts in Cameroon
Cameroon President Paul Biya and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield have held talks on the threats posed by the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram with both countries pledging to synergize efforts to combat the insurgents not only in Cameroon but at the regional level.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield who was received in audience Saturday, September 6, at the Unity Palace by Mr Biya commended the efforts of the Cameroonian Armed Forces in pushing back the several incursions of Boko Haram into Cameroon and expressed her wish that the wife of the Vice Prime Minister be released by the terrorists.
The diplomat who was accompanied by Michael Stephen HOZA, the new American Ambassador to Cameroon; Stephen SCHWARTS, the Director for West Africa at the State Department; and Melissa SHUMI JONES, Director at the State Department, also expressed her condolences to the population of the affected areas who have lost relatives and property.
“I had the opportunity to spend one hour with your president (Paul Biya) to talk about bilateral issues, we spent quite a bit of time discussing the issues related to Boko Haram and Cameroon’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram’s efforts in Cameroon. We talk about the situation in CAR, we had a broad discussion on the economy, the political scene here in Cameroon as well as discussed results of the recent US-Africa summit,” she told journalists.
Before the Cameroon visit, Thomas-Greenfield stopped in Nigeria to attend a regional Ministerial meeting on Boko Haram. “The US government has been working with the Nigerian government for some time on the situation with Boko Haram. We do realize that the situation is worsening as Boko Haram has taken over several villages and are threatening Maiduguri,” she added.
The Nigeria regional Ministerial meeting, the US Diplomat said, was attended by Cameroonian Foreign Minister and other neighbors as well as the UK, French and Chinese governments to discuss how they can better cooperate regionally to address this issue of Boko Haram. “So we are working on some regional solutions and we are looking on how we can better coordinate on a regional basis to address this.”
“We know that the situation in northern Nigeria is critical. We also know that Boko Haram has had some incursions into Cameroon. But your (Cameroon) government, particularly your military has done an outstanding job in repulsing Boko Haram’s efforts in Cameroon,” she concluded.
In her capacity as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Thomas-Greenfield leads the bureau in the Department of State focused on the development and management of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa.