Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flashback: Obama: "Bad Governance," Nigeria Mainly Responsible for Boko Haram

During a June 2013 interview with African youths in a town hall-style format, President Obama mainly blamed the governance of African nations for the rise of terrorist organizations like Boko Haram.

While calling the threat of terrorism from some groups and al Qaeda "greatly diminished," President Obama went on to name Boko Haram directly.

"But what is also true," he explained, "is that in some ways the problem has metastasized, you have more regional terrorist organisations like a Boko Haram in Nigeria espousing an extremist ideology, showing no regard for human life and, you know, although they might not have the same transnational capacity that some of the earlier organizations did, they're doing great harm in Africa and in the Middle East and in South Asia."

"The question is," the President continued, "how do we address this problem? It is my strong belief that terrorism is more likely to emerge and take root where countries are not delivering for their people and where there sources of conflict and underlining frustrations that have not been adequately dealt with."

[caption id="attachment_26124" align="alignnone" width="908"]President Obama President Obama[/caption]

The President then went on to use Somalia as an example, explaining that the lack of a functioning government in that nation has caused people to turn to terrorism.

"Part of the problem in Mali," the President added, "is that they had a weak central government."

Mr. Obama continued later, stating that the continent of Africa is also possibly at fault for the rise of Boko Haram because of their reticence to denounce sectarianism.

"We would love nothing more than for Africa," the President stated, "collectively, to say no to extremism, say no to terrorism, to say no to sectarianism — which in the case of Boko Haram, for example, is an example of essentially a religious rationale for this kind of violence." However, Mr. Obama made certain not to mention radical Islam by name in this section, calling it both an "ideology" and "rationale," respectively, so as to not upset any Muslim viewers.

The President also stated that the United States would never allow an American embassy to be attacked without the US military responding. "But what we won’t do is just stand by if our embassy is being attacked or our people are in vulnerable situations," he said.

You can watch the entire interview below:

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