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July 16, 2014 AT 10:32 AM
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday sought approval from parliament to borrow up to $1 billion abroad to help the armed forces tackle the security threat posed by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram. Jonathan, facing intense criticism at home and overseas for his government's failure to curb a spreading campaign of violence by the Islamist militants, made the request in a letter read to Nigeria's Senate and House of Representatives. His government is accused by critics of not doing enough to protect civilians in Africa's biggest economy and oil producer from Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and abducted hundreds since launching an uprising in the northeast in 2009.