The newly elected President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump has questioned why the US was spending money to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the Northern part of Nigeria.
According to an International report, Donald Trump’s transition team had presented the US State Department with four pages of questions about Africa – including why the US is bothering to fight Boko Haram; why the US spend money to fund Africa while its citizens are suffering; whether the US is losing to China and Africa in terms of trades and investments, etc.
The director of the Africa program, Monde Muyangwa said that many of the questions asked are the right questions that any incoming administration should ask. She also noted that the framing of some of the questions suggests a narrower definition of U.S. interests in Africa, and a more transnational and short-term approach to policy and engagement with African countries.
One of the questions queried “why the US is bothering to fight the Boko Haram Insurgency when all of the schoolgirls kidnapped by the group have not been rescued. But this was countered that due to government corruption and human rights abuses by the army, the US had refused over the last three years to discuss selling weapons to Nigeria – under the administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. Until power changed hands and President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office and unmasked the $2 billion arms deal fraud, charging the Nigeria army to be more accountable.
On aid to African, Donald Trump’s transition team questioned, “why should we spend funds on Africa when we are suffering here in the US?” These questions about Africa has led to several skepticism that Africa matters to U.S. interests.
However, the Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs in a Trump administration, J. Peter Pham said he does not expect Mr. Trump to do a complete U-turn in relations with Africa. According to him, Mr. Trump will emphasize fighting extremism on the continent, while also looking to enhance opportunities for American businesses.
Other questions on the US-Africa relationship pointed on why the US has not defeated al Shabaab – the Somalia-based militant group. And whether it is worth it for the US to continue hunting for Joseph Kony, the rebel leader of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, after 6 years.