London seeks long-term 'counter-terrorism solutions' in Nigeria: UK

Amer Sultan in London, Wednesday 14 May 2014

London pledges long-term counter-extremism efforts in Nigeria, says UK Foreign Office spokesperson, to defeat Boko Haram and prevent similar future attacks

Female MPs pose at the Palace of Westminster with a "Bring Back Our Girls" poster in support of the 200 schoolgirls abducted by the Nigerian Islamist rebel group Boko Haram, London May 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The UK has pledged to assist Nigeria in a long-term fight against terrorism and extremism.

A UK team of experts arrived in Abuja last Friday, in response to the Nigerian government’s request for help to release over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Harm extremist group on 14 April.

However, the team “will be considering not just the recent incidents but also longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram,” a UK Foreign Office spokesperson told Ahram Online.

He added that the team is drawn from across the government, including the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and international development.

The UK strongly condemned the abduction of the girls, with its Foreign Secretary William Hague stating that using girls as spoils of war and terrorism is "disgusting and immoral".

The incident, he added, must prove to everyone across the world that no support whatsoever should be given to such "a vile organisation".

Other countries, including the USA and Israel, have also sent teams to Nigeria to join in efforts to release the detained girls.

The spokesperson said UK experts will be working closely with their US counterparts and others to coordinate efforts.

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