Collins bill outlining stronger U.S. response to Boko Haram signed into law

Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) to strengthen the U.S. response to the Boko Haram terrorist group was recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Collins’ bill calls for a five-year U.S. strategy to counter Boko Haram and assistance to the Nigerian government to protect vulnerable people affected by the terrorist group.

“Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS and continues to commit terrible acts of brutal violence against civilians in Nigeria as well as in Chad, Cameroon and Niger,” Collins said. “This new law, which received strong bipartisan support, signals a renewed commitment to pursuing Boko Haram and bolstering U.S. efforts throughout the region. The already dire situation there will continue to worsen if the current trajectory is not significantly altered.”

Following Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 276 school girls in Nigeria in 2014, Collins led a bipartisan call for Secretary of State John Kerry to add Boko Haram to the United Nation’s al-Qaeda Sanctions list.

The letter resulted in the United Nations Security Council approving an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo for the terrorist group.

“By definition, ‘Boko Haram’ means Western education is forbidden,” Collins said. “As we develop this comprehensive five-year strategy, we will send an international signal that we will never forget the girls of Nigeria who were targeted simply because they chose to pursue an education.”

U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) were among the bill’s cosponsors.