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U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Calling for Nigerian Leadership to Fight Boko Haram and Ensure Peaceful Presidential Elections

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and John Boozman (R-AR) in introducing a resolution calling on the Nigerian government to demonstrate leadership in addressing the dual challenges of Boko Haram and ensuring peaceful, transparent, and credible presidential elections.   

“With this resolution, members of the United States Senate call upon the Nigerian government to demonstrate leadership by developing a comprehensive strategy for combating Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, and urging political actors to commit to ensuring a peaceful election,” said Senator Menendez. “Since the transition to civilian rule over a decade ago, Nigeria has been one of the United States’ strongest allies. Today, we stand with the people of Nigeria and their aspirations for peace throughout the country and the ability to participate in credible elections that are free from violence.”

“We are proud to stand with the Nigerian people in calling for peaceful, transparent and credible elections and for the government to adopt a comprehensive strategy for defeating Boko Haram,” Senator Shaheen said. “Nigeria is an important partner of ours and credible elections are important for its democratic development and efforts to address the ongoing instability in that country.”

"Free, fair, transparent, and secure elections form the cornerstone of representative democracies," Senator Coons said. "Boko Haram’s presence in northeastern Nigeria presents real challenges as the nation prepares for its upcoming elections.  The Nigerian government should acknowledge the threat Boko Haram poses and develop a whole-of-government strategy to confront it. Nigeria's democracy will be painfully stifled without substantial economic development in the north and significant humanitarian assistance for the populations displaced by Boko Haram's terrorist operations. The friendship of the United States and Nigeria is strong and can get stronger if the Nigerian government steps up to confront Boko Haram and its leaders ensure a free, fair, and safe election."

A copy of the resolution is available here

The resolution:

  • Condemns Boko Haram for its violent attacks
  • Urges the government of Nigeria to cooperate with regional and international partners to defeat Boko Haram and to conduct timely, credible, transparent, and peaceful elections
  • Calls on candidates, party officials, and adherents to refrain from any rhetoric or action that seeks to inflame tensions