The United States President Barack Obama has signed into law, S. 1632, "An Act to require a regional strategy to address the threat posed by Boko Haram."
The new US law provides that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense jointly develop and submit to the U.S. Congress within 180 days a five-year strategy to enable the Nigerian government and relevant partners counter the threat of Boko Haram.
The strategy should also seek to assist Nigeria and its neighbours to accept and address legitimate grievances of vulnerable populations in areas affected by Boko Haram, says the law, a copy of which was seen by Daily Trust.
According to the law, the strategy must address the Nigerian "military capabilities" and of the partner nations in the region to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram, as well as addressing the provision of humanitarian support to civilian populations impacted by Boko Haram's activity.
The US law also provides that the strategy must address specific activities through which the American government "intends to improve and enhance the capacity of Multinational Joint Task Force to Combat Boko Haram partner nations to investigate and prosecute human rights abuses by security forces and promote respect for the rule of law within the military."
It must also address a means for assisting Nigeria to counter violent extremism, including efforts to address underlying societal factors shown to contribute to the ability of Boko Haram to radicalize and recruit individuals.
The law also provides that Nigeria's capacity should be strengthened "to enhance security for schools such that children are safer and girls seeking an education are better protected, and to combat gender-based violence and gender inequality."
According to the law, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the US congress an assessment regarding the "willingness and capability" of the Nigerian Government and regional partners to implement the strategy developed.