The Foreign Secretary today visited the North East of Nigeria to show that the UK remains committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa. The UK has repeatedly called for the release of all those abducted by Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa and the protection of all civilians.
Jeremy Hunt visited the WFP (World Food Programme) warehouse in Maiduguri on the third day of his week-long trip to Africa, where he spoke to people providing life-saving support to millions who have fled their homes following attacks by terrorist groups. He also met with the UK Military Liaison and Support Team which is working with the Nigerian military.
Speaking in Maiduguri, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
People are being forced from their homes by the evils of extremism and terrorism. Boko Haram and Islamic State are the antithesis of the values we all hold dear, and we will continue to support Nigeria in the fight to give people secure, prosperous and happy lives.
The UK is providing a substantial and increasing package of security, humanitarian and development support. This includes training and capacity building for Nigerian armed forces deploying in the North East. The UK has trained over 30,000 Nigerian troops in recent years.
As the second largest humanitarian donor, the UK government was one of the first to respond to the crisis, investing £300 million in live-saving aid over five years to reach over 1.5 million of the most vulnerable people. UK support is also addressing root causes of the conflict, helping the Nigerian Government to deliver for its citizens in the longer term, including in health and education.
The UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership, signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to the country in 2018, will increase the UK’s co-operation in the fight against terrorist groups and other security challenges.
Nigeria needs to plan for civilian-led stabilisation and development in areas where the military has ousted the terrorist groups. Together with international partners, the UK will continue supporting Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle threats to regional stability.