U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall has described humanitarian situation in the North-East as “unprecedented” and of great concern to the international community.
A statement on Friday in Abuja by the Information Unit, U.S. Mission to Nigeria said Sewall made this known during her visit to Maiduguri and Abuja between Tuesday and Friday.
The envoy during her visit met with government officials, military and police commanders, internally displaced persons, interfaith religious leaders, and community leaders from the Niger Delta.
During her meetings in Maiduguri, she focused on the military campaign against Boko Haram, commending the Nigerian military for its successes while recognising that “great challenges” remain.
She noted in particular the difficulties inherent in securing and stabilising the areas retaken from Boko Haram.
Sewall stressed the need to restore governance and services in these areas which would enable displaced persons to safely return to their homes.
The envoy, who met with leaders from the troubled Niger Delta Region in Abuja expressed the hope that dialogue would be productive.
She said the U.S. believed strongly that these talks were crucial to finding a lasting, solution, and encouraged all sides to intensify their efforts to secure peace.
The Under Secretary also held discussions with interfaith religious leaders,who decried radicalism and extremism within their communities.
They also raised a variety of proposals with the Under Secretary to counter these negative forces as well as provide support to former Boko Haram captives as they attempt to reintegrate into society.
Sewall also sought their ideas regarding the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria and the religious leaders expressed support for meaningful efforts to reduce corruption.(NAN)