"For years, Nigerian forces have struggled with how to combat Boko Haram. Soldiers have been accused of carrying out arbitrary detentions, torture and killings of civilians, often without trying to distinguish fighters from the innocent. Witnesses have even described Nigerian soldiers deliberately carrying out revenge killings against villagers, prompting the United States to block the sale of American-made attack helicopters in the past over human rights concerns. But the nation’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, a former general from the north, was elected more than a year ago after vowing to clean up the military. Since then, Nigerian forces have made headway in routing Boko Haram from its strongholds in remote villages," Dionne Searcey writes for the New York Times.
"Boko Haram is on the run, and much of the credit must go to vigilantes in northeastern Nigeria who have risen up to protect their local communities from the jihadists. But there is a growing concern that they represent a whole new security threat," Eromo Egbejule writes for IRIN News.
"U.S. involvement in the Sahel is growing because of security issues associated with violent extremists. The U.S. military’s Africa Command is perhaps the best example. At the request of host governments, we have established a few drone facilities. Peacekeeping operations training continues, as does U.S. diplomatic and financial support for multilateral peace efforts. But, the bottom line is that the U.S. security presence remains small. The Leahy amendment limits our training of foreign military and police. More generally, U.S. involvement in the Sahel is limited by the indirect threat to U.S. security posed by violence extremist groups," CFR's John Campbell said at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center of the Foreign Service Institute.