IPOB: U.S. warns Nigeria against military option, advises dialogue
The United States of America, U.S.A, has told Nigeria to look beyond a military option in resolving internal conflicts.
The United States Institute for Peace, USIP, made the call in Washington DC when the agency convened a gathering of US officials, diplomats and Nigerian leaders.
The event looked at “Peace in Nigeria: How to build it, and America’s role” and possible options beyond military operations were explored.
The Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S Department of State, Thomas Hushek, in his concluding remarks said, “durable peace” in Nigeria “will require a painstaking dialogue.”
Nigeria’s military recently went into an open confrontation with members of the pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, through“Operation Python Dance” in the Southeast.
Hushek said Nigeria is a very critical U.S. partner on the continent, but added that the President Muhammadu Buhari government must in its pursuit of peace first identify the options that citizens want implemented.
The U.S. Assistant secretary believes the “2019 election will be critical to Nigeria’s continued prosperity and stability.
“Achieving stability or building political peace is a political endeavour,” he said, explaining that responsiveness to people’s needs would “build trust and encourage durable peace.”
A former Chief of Army Staff and former Commander of combined United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan, General Agwai, is one of the members of the Nigeria Senior Working Group that participated in the conference on peace in Nigeria.
Agwai, in his opening remark, described himself as a simple old soldier humbled by the presence of the State Department and the U.S. and “privileged to stand and talk to learned people across the world about what we are doing.”