Nigeria Blasts US Over Labeling Boko Haram ‘Foreign Terrorists’

Insists Ruling Will Have Implications for Ordinary Nigerians

by Jason Ditz, June 27, 2012

Nigeria’s government has responded to the US State Department declaration adding Boko Haram to their list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, saying that they oppose the decision and it will have broad implications on ordinary Nigerians.

In particular, they expressed concern that ordinary Nigerians as well as a number of government officials could be targeted for ill-defined affiliations to Islamist factions which could be perceived as related to Boko Haram, and that there could be serious travel restrictions to come.

Nigeria had made no bones about their opposition from the start, saying that their goal was to negotiate a settlement with Boko Haram to reduce violence in the country, and that the US label would virtually end any negotiations.

The US made the announcement last week, defending it on the grounds that while Boko Haram has seemingly no interests outside of Nigeria itself they conceivably have the “capability” to threaten US interests abroad.

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