US trains 200 Nigerian cops, others in counter-terrorism

US trains 200 Nigerian cops, others in counter-terrorism

Saturday, October 3, 2015 7:55 pm

Nigeria's special forces

Nigeria’s special forces

The U.S. Government’s Anti-terrorism Assistance Programme (ATA) has conducted a mass casualty exercise to culminate a yearlong training programme with 200 Nigerian Police and other emergency management professionals.

This is contained in a statement by the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy on Saturday in Abuja.

It said that the exercise, conducted in Abuja on Saturday, was ATA’s largest in Nigeria, included participants from Nigerian Red Cross, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and medical personnel.

The statement said that the exercise enhanced everyone’s ability to plan effectively for and manage a mass casualty critical incident.

It explained that the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Mrs Maria Brewer, at the event said that the exercise was to achieve new innovation among the participants.

“By bringing together all of your various agencies, with outside experts in the field, we can achieve new innovations, greater cooperation, and build upon many of the skills you already possess,” she said.

Brewer, in the statement, expressed the U.S. Government’s condolences for Oct. 2 twin bomb blasts in Abuja which further emphasised the significance of the training and emergency preparedness.

The statement also quoted the NEMA Director General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, as commending the U.S. for organising the programme for the emergency professionals and security agents.

“The capacity building programme provided by the Anti-terrorism Assistance Programme of the United States is coming at a very good time when all hands must be on deck to defeat terrorism.

“There is a need for the security agencies and the Nigerian actors to step up their game in order to counter these threats,” he said.

According to the statement, in its 1.5 million dollars programme worldwide, ATA has trained NEMA in critical incident management courses and enhanced Nigeria’s explosive ordnance disposal capabilities through courses, seminars, and equipment grants.

It said ATA had trained senior hospital personnel and emergency response personnel including police, fire fighters, emergency management technicians, and specialised law enforcement units on management of mass casualty incidents.

The U.S. has also  pledged to stand with the Government and the people of Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram and other perpetrators of terrorism.

This is contained in a statement by the First Secretary, Press Attaché, Mr Sean McIntosh, on Saturday in Abuja.

According to the statement, the U.S. will help Nigeria achieve this goal through its security and counter-terrorism assistance and its unparalleled commitment to help.

The U.S made the commitment following the twin explosions in Nyanya and Kuje in Abuja on Oct. 2, and the suicide bombings in Maiduguri and Adamawa on Oct. 1.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured.

“These tragic events are stark reminders that violent extremists will stop at nothing to inflict horrific and indiscriminate harm upon innocent lives.

“In particular, Boko Haram’s reign of terror and sheer brutality have left thousands dead and millions displaced,” it said.

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