Foreign Affairs Committee Condemns Boko Haram, Urges Nigeria to Hold Safe and Credible Election as Scheduled
The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to condemn Boko Haram and highlight Nigeria’s upcoming election. Specifically, the legislation (H. Res. 53), introduced by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), condemns the cowardly attacks on innocent men, women, and children in northeastern Nigeria urges Nigeria to hold a safe and credible election without delay. Additionally, the legislation applauds the efforts of the African Union to standup a regional force to combat Boko Haram and expresses support of robust security assistance to this new force.
Upon passage of the resolution, Chairman Royce said: “It’s no wonder Boko Haram is being called the ISIS of Africa. Last month, Boko Haram launched one of their worst attacks to date; thousands are believed to be dead. Today’s resolution condemns Boko Haram’s brutal attack and encourages the government of Nigeria to work with the United States and its neighbors to defeat this terrorist group. Nigeria’s neighbors – Chad, Niger – have been recently gaining some ground against Boko Haram; we need to ensure that this new force being authorized by the African Unions has the tools it needs to get the job done. This resolution also urges Nigeria to avoid further election delays and adhere to the new election date of March 28. Importantly, it also calls on all political candidates to uphold their commitments to prevent political violence – which unfortunately, isn’t uncommon in Nigeria.”
Last year, the Committee examined the Administration’s response to Boko Haram, at a hearing entitled, “Boko Haram: The Growing Threat to Schoolgirls, Nigeria, and Beyond.” Prior to the hearing Chairman Royce met with Deborah Peter, a 15-year-old girl originally from the village of Chibok, Nigeria, the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram. Deborah was the first female survivor of a Boko Haram attack to visit Washington, D.C.
The Committee today also passed:
H.R. 400, the Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act (introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)), which ensures U.S. tax dollars do not support human trafficking among the thousands of foreign workers the U.S. government employs overseas
H.R. 757, the North Korea Enforcement Act of 2015 (introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)), which improves the enforcement of sanctions against the Government of North Korea.