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How terrorism tag on Boko Haram affects Nigerians

Nigerians travelling to the United States of America, USA, will be affected by the country’s recent tagging of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, as a terrorist group.

On November 13, the U.S. designated the sect and Ansaru militant groups as foreign terrorist organisations with the State Department describing the move as “an important” step to help Nigeria “root out violent extremism.”

A statement by the State Department said: “These designations are an important and appropriate step, but only one tool in what must be a comprehensive approach by the Nigerian government to counter these groups.”

It means that the U.S. justice system was now empowered to block all financial dealings or transactions between America and these organisations.

However, the influential US think-tank, Council of Foreign Policy, has said that the designation goes beyond blocking of the group’s financial transactions.

Reacting to the tag, the council through former ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, said: “The response to Boko Haram and other jihadist insurgencies is shaping U.S. foreign policy toward Nigeria and the Sahel.
“But despite rhetoric to the contrary, the region remains a marginal U.S. priority.

“Though the November 13 Foreign Terrorist Organizations, FTO, designation received media attention, its practical consequences are limited, most involving visa restrictions and checks on financial support of American origins.

“But the vague wording of the designation could pose administrative difficulties for Nigerians not connected to jihadist movements.

“Official U.S. rhetoric is focused increasingly on security issues, rather than development or other conventional goals in the Sahel.

“Announcing the November 13 designation of Boko Haram and its splinter, Ansaru, as FTO would assist U.S. and other law enforcement partners in efforts to investigate and prosecute terrorist suspects.”

Source: Vanguard News

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