By John Ikani
Worried by the spate of accidental bombing of civilians by the Nigerian Air Force, the United States says it is ready to help end such unfortunate incidents during airstrikes on terrorists and criminal elements in the North-East and North-West.
The US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, Jonathan Finer, stated this in an interview with select journalists in Abuja on Monday.
The interaction was attended by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard and other senior officials.
According to Finer, the US takes the accidental bombing of civilians by the Nigerian Air Force seriously.
He said the cooperation with the Nigerian Armed Forces could be helpful in this regard, adding that America’s established collaboration with the military would move to address this development.
“Obviously, one of the areas we are going to work with the Nigerian military is reducing unintended casualties. That’s something we as a government and as a military take extremely seriously,” said finer.
“No country is perfect in this regard, it is important to point that out. This is another area I think cooperation can actually be helpful. The collaboration we already established is going to have to continue to move forward so we can avoid any unintended consequence,” he added.
In her remarks, Ambassador Leonard said her country was encouraged by the openness and transparency shown by the military in acknowledging the incidents, noting that such accidents do occur.
“In any military including our own, sometimes things happen. The question is, what do you do to find out what transpired; where the weak link was, how to make that better,” she said.