In an effort to help it deal with the brutal violence of the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram, the Nigerian government has given the U.S. the authority to conduct strikes against the group on Nigerian soil with the tacit approval of the Nigerian government.
The communication between governments came by way of a letter from the Nigerian Embassy to the U.S. State Department, written after the U.S. placed three members of Boko Haram—Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi—on its terror watch list. The letter states that should the U.S. make an effort to go after the targeted Boko Haram insurgents, Nigeria declares that its “innocent immediate neighbors should not be harmed.
The Nigeria Guardian called the move by Nigeria “a tacit partial surrender of the nation’s sovereignty to the United States of America.”
“While the facts contained in the Order are not in dispute, the Embassy hereby expresses its sadness that the Boko Haram episode has led to such a declaration,” the letter said. “The Embassy however wishes to assure that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is firmly resolved in its determination to bring an end to the destructive activities of this group. We shall continue our efforts in this direction with the active cooperation and assistance of our friends and allies especially our host government.”
“The Embassy however wishes to appeal that whatever action that is eventually taken against these individuals, their immediate neighbours who have felt most the impact, but are very much vehemently opposed to the activities of Boko Hararn, should not be affected,” the letter continues. “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the United States Department of State, the assurances of its highest consideration.”
In such situations, the U.S. has used controversial drone attacks to target insurgents it deems dangerous terrorists in places like Somalia and Pakistan. The letter from Nigeria could open the West African nation up to drone strikes by the U.S. on Nigerian soil.