The measure was imposed May 14, 2013, and extended in December.
During this period Nigerian government forces have been accused of committing rights abuses, charges denied by the military, and the threat from Boko Haram has appeared to intensify. The rights group Amnesty International says Nigeria's military had advance warning of a possible Boko Haram attack before the April 15 kidnappings in Chibok but did not react because of their fear of engaging the extremists.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the top State Department official for Africa, said in a web chat Wednesday that "part of our work with the (Nigerian) government is to help train members of their security how not to commit human rights violations."
The Pentagon said Wednesday the U.S. is using surveillance drones to aid in the search for the kidnapped Nigerian girls, and almost 300 Marines have been moved to a naval air station in Sicily in response to the growing unrest in Africa. A senior U.S. official says at least one Global Hawk surveillance drone is in use, in addition to manned MC-12 aircraft.
Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 people this year. Although the security forces have forced the militants out of urban centers, they have struggled for months to dislodge them from hideouts in mountain caves and the Sambisa forest.
Last week, as world attention focused on the abducted schoolgirls, Islamic militants attacked the town of Gamboru, in Borno state, and killed at least 50 people, according to residents. A senator from the area has said up to 300 were killed in that attack.
President Jonathan will meet with heads of state and representatives from Benin, Chad, Niger and Cameroon this weekend in Paris to discuss the fight against Boko Haram.
Adamu reported from Yobe, Nigeria.
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