Nigeria-US training cancellation ‘not political’

Nigeria-US training cancellation ‘not political’
Updated 07 December 2014

Nigeria-US training cancellation ‘not political’

Nigeria-US training cancellation ‘not political’

ABUJA: Nigeria on Friday said that a decision to cancel US training of its soldiers to fight Boko Haram was a logistical, not a political decision.
The US Embassy in Abuja announced on Monday that the Nigerian government had halted a training program of an army battalion, which would have developed into a unit to take on the militants. The cancellation came after Nigeria’s ambassador to Washington last month criticized the United States for the “scope, nature and content” of its support for the counter-insurgency.
In particular, he said Washington had failed to provide the weapons required to deliver a “killer punch” to Boko Haram.
But Nigeria’s national security spokesman, Mike Omeri, played down talk of strained diplomatic ties, saying it did not affect the countries’ existing military cooperation.
“This is just a training component for one battalion of the Nigerian Army,” he told AFP.
“We have had the first and second phase of that training, so it is not as if the whole bilateral military agreement has been suspended. The suspension is logistical and not political.”
Omeri was quoted as saying in the Nigerian media on Friday that the cancelled third phase required military equipment to be withdrawn from current operations to be used for training.