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May 15, 2014

Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

American military and intelligence advisors are helping to search for the more than 200 missing Nigerian school girls taken by Boko Haram terrorists. It is important for the United States to assist in the effort to rescue the girls, whose families are awaiting news about their whereabouts. Rumors have indicated that some or all of them may be taken across Nigeria's borders to Cameroon or Chad, where the rule of law is even weaker.

As the United States assists Nigeria in this effort, it should also address the root causes of the crisis. Economic desperation and human rights abuses committed by Nigerian security forces have fueled the rise of Boko Haram.

Urge Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to address the underlying causes of violence and extremism in Nigeria.

Evidence is mounting that the Nigerian government failed to act on warnings that the kidnapping was planned. It is all too clear that corruption, poor training and a lack of concern for civilians contributed to the current crisis.

Today, senior administration officials testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to answer questions about what the U.S. is doing to help. Now the administration needs to double down on how it plans to help Nigeria confront the root causes of terrorism.

Urge Secretary Hagel to address the underlying causes of violence and extremism in Nigeria.