Germany promises help in Nigerian terror monitoring | News | DW | 19.04.2012
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Germany promises help in Nigerian terror monitoring

Nigeria has asked Germany for help in its campaign against the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, saying German technology and know-how could make a difference.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was in Berlin on Thursday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel on ways Germany can help Nigeria in its fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Specifically, Nigeria is looking to use German technology to help monitor the Boko Haram members, who have been blamed for hundreds of deaths in attacks on police stations, churches and schools this year alone.

Jonathan also said advice from foreign anti-terror experts would help maintain surveillance on the terrorists.

"To confront terrorists you must have a different security architecture, which we never had," Jonathan told reporters in Berlin.

Merkel said Germany would do its part "wherever we can help, whether in training or in logistics."

Nigerian investment

Boko Haram's attacks are usually directed at police stations but have also targeted Christian schools and churches. The group opposes Western schools in the country's Muslim north and wants to implement Shariah law.

Jonathan added that it was likely Boko Haram was receiving financial backing from a wealthy source.

"If you look at the weapons that are being used by Boko Haram, poor people cannot buy those kinds of rifles," he said. "They need money to buy those kinds of rifles. Even the improvised explosive devices they are using: you need money to buy the fertilizer of that grade."

Business leaders from Nigeria were among those travelling with Jonathan on his trip to Germany. Jonathan sought to assure foreign investors that despite the threat of violence from Boko Haram, Nigeria was a safe place to invest.

"I can assure the global community, especially investors from Germany, that the government is working very hard to bring this problem under control," Jonathan said. "Nigeria is still safe for investment. Nigeria is one country where... investment returns are quite high and where we believe in the rule of law."

mz/pfd (dpa, Reuters, AP)