US Urges Buhari to Lessen Use of Military for Conflict Resolution

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Supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) march in Port Harcourt on January 20, 2017 in support of the US president-elect.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20 — capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised by the United States to look beyond military options in resolving conflicts within the country.

The American government, through the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington DC, gave this advice in a discussion convened by the agency titled Peace in Nigeria, how to build it, and America’s role.

The conference featured different US officials and Nigerian leaders, including other diplomats from both countries.

At the symposium, the need to strengthen the responsiveness of state institutions, address grievances and perceptions, were discussed and this lead to the suggestion for Nigeria to find other alternative ways to tackle various internal conflicts and security problems facing the country.

According to the Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations, US Department of State, Mr Thomas Hushek, the government would have to use words, negotiation, persuasion, and lessen the dependency put on the military.

“It is a necessary step to achieve peace in Nigeria, even though it may require a painstaking dialogue,” he noted.

Describing Nigeria as a vital US partner on the continent, Mr Hushek further urged President Buhari’s administration to pursue peace by identifying the available options that the citizens would like.

The country is preparing for elections in the upcoming two years, and it might be a critical turning point for Nigeria’s continued prosperity and stability.

Before this, US Consulate representative Mr Stephen Ibelli had also restated the US partnership with the Nigerian government is to counter the security threats,

This follows the continuous support in resolving the security crisis in North-East Nigeria as it devolves into one of the world’s most complex humanitarian crises.

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