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Merkel Offers German Training to Help Nigeria Fight Terrorism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrive for a press conference following talks at the chancellery in Berlin April 19, 2012. Photographer: John MacDougal/AFP/Getty Images

Chancellor Angela Merkel offered German help to Nigeria as Africa’s most populous nation attempts to counter attacks by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

There’s a need “to discuss in which ways Nigeria needs help,” Merkel said after talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Berlin today. “But what’s most important is the Nigerian government’s determination to counter the threat. Wherever we can help -- with training, with logistics -- we will do so.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has suffered terrorist attacks at the hands of Boko Haram including a suicide bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja in August. The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria warned its citizens on April 17 that the group may be planning more attacks in the capital.

Jonathan said that he can assure investors the Nigerian government is “on top of” the terrorist threat.

Some accounts paint “a gloomy picture as if the whole country is in tatters” because of the attacks, Jonathan said in Berlin. Nigeria is “a safe place” for investment, he said. “We are a stable country.”

The two leaders said that they also discussed energy projects as well as education and cultural cooperation.

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