African states declare war on Boko Haram

African states declare war on Boko Haram
Sun May 18, 2014 10:13:24

Countries neighboring Nigeria are ready to wage war against the Nigeria-based, al-Qaeda-linked group, Boko Haram, Chad's president says.

Idriss Deby made the statement after a summit in Paris on Saturday that also included Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and representatives from West African countries Cameroon, Benin, Niger plus the United States, the European Union, Britain and France.

"There is determination to tackle this situation head launch a war, a total war on Boko Haram," Deby said after the meeting, which was aimed at finding a common strategy to fight the armed group.

French President Francois Hollande had called the summit following the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria last month.

The leaders who attended the meeting agreed on tightened border controls, shared intelligence and to take a collaborative approach when fighting the armed group.

Jonathan said Boko Haram had evolved from a small group to being part of the broader al-Qaeda organization.

"Boko Haram is no longer the local terror group with some regional sentiment that started in Nigeria in 2002 to 2009," Jonathan said.

"From 2009 to date, it has changed and is operating clearly as an al-Qaeda organization. It can better be described as an al-Qaeda in West and Central Africa."

Francois Hollande, the French president, said Boko Haram had clearly established ties with other "terror" groups in Africa, making it a problem throughout the continent and beyond.

"The message we want to send is that we know the threat. It is serious, it is serious for the region, for Africa and so for Europe. We have deployed our military and intelligence system to find these young girls," Hollande said.

The 276 schoolgirls and women were kidnapped on April 15 from a school in Chibok. Most of them are still being held captive, with the group's leader threatening to sell them into slavery.

In February, another 59 students were killed when fighters attacked a boarding school in Yobe state, setting several buildings on fire.

Two bombs also exploded in a crowded bus station in Abuja on April 14, killing 88 people and injuring more than 200 others.


string(1064) "[{"id":"1559931","sort":"3205820","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/27/alalam_635264560320361878_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"At least 45 dead in Nigeria market attack: police"} ,{"id":"1585216","sort":"3205821","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/04/14/alalam_635331024356667875_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Bomb blast kills 71 at bus station near Nigeria capital"} ,{"id":"1590306","sort":"3205822","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/05/01/alalam_635345595333515287_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Stolen school girls sold for mass marriages in Nigeria"} ,{"id":"1591460","sort":"3205823","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/05/05/alalam_635349125027311985_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Boko Haram leader vows to sell abducted schoolgirls"} ,{"id":"1592781","sort":"3205824","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/05/10/alalam_635353184816187744_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"UNSC vows action over Nigeria's female abduction"} ,{"id":"1592862","sort":"3205825","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/05/10/alalam_635353376438610102_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Clinton slammed for not labeling Boko Haram as terrorist"} ]"