Press release

Baroness Anelay visits Nigeria

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay visited Nigeria to hold discussions on the protection of civilians in the fight against Boko Haram

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During her visit, Baroness Anelay reiterated the UK’s support to Nigeria in their fight against Boko Haram. The Minister observed first-hand UK military personnel training Nigerian soldiers to strengthen the military response to combat Boko Haram in the north east of the country.

Baroness Anelay said:

Boko Haram has caused immense suffering to people of different faiths and ethnicities. They commit appalling atrocities against all those who do not follow their extremist and intolerant views. The UK is committed to help Nigeria fight terrorism and is working closely with Nigeria and our international partners to support those people who have been displaced by the conflict in the north east.

In her meetings with the Nigerian government, the Minister raised the importance of the protection of civilians, particularly in preventing gender-based violence, in the fight against Boko Haram. She also met a range of NGOs and civil society to discuss UK support for the large numbers of people displaced by the conflict in the north east.

The Minister also met with the Bring Back Our Girls campaign and discussed the additional humanitarian support the UK is providing to help those affected by the fight against Boko Haram. This includes £6.7 million to deliver food, education, safe water, shelter material and other basic necessities to those people displaced in Nigeria. The Minister also saw how UK projects are providing education for girls and young women, helping them to achieve their potential and giving them the skills they need to set up their own business.

Further information

  • It is estimated that over 2.2 million people have been displaced and over 14.8 million affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

  • The UK is providing £6.7 million of humanitarian support to help those affected by Boko Haram in Nigeria. 60% of DFID’s £222million development budget for Nigeria is spent in northern Nigeria.

  • During his visit to Nigeria in December 2015, the Secretary of State for Defence announced a major uplift to UK support to the Nigerian armed forces to help combat Boko Haram, including more than doubling the number of British personnel deployed on training tasks in Nigeria in the coming year; the deployment of a specialist team to provide assistance in countering improvised explosive devices and medical training and advice; and training to the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter insurgency.

  • A resident military training and advisory team in Nigeria (The British Military Advisory and Training Team) coordinates an increasing programme of military capacity building assistance to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. This includes training and advice on counter-insurgency.

  • Follow Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay on Twitter @JoyceAnelay

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Published 11 February 2016