17 May 2014

Nigeria: Anti-Terror Summit Targets Nigeria's Boko Haram

Photo: Présidence de la République
West African presidents meet at the invitation of President Francois Hollande of France.

The Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram is the focus of an anti-terror summit set to get under way in Paris. Nigeria's President Jonathan is on hand with his African neighbors to discuss ways to combat the group.

French President Francois Holland is set to host Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and a host of other African leaders in Paris on Saturday for a summit aimed at fighting the Boko Haram Islamist sect in Nigeria.

Leaders from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin have been invited to attend the summit. In addition, representatives from the United States and Great Britain are scheduled to be on hand.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping over 200 school girls last month, and on Monday released a video showing around 130 of the girls. Most of the girls are Christian, but some of the girls in the video gave statements that they had converted to Islam. The name Boko Haram can be translated as 'Western education is sin.' The group wants to set up an Islamist region in the northern part of Nigeria, and has killed several thousand people during a five-year uprising. It offered to being held in Nigeria, but Jonathan rejected this offer.

The aim of the summit in Paris is to encourage closer cooperation among the African nations to combat the group. In addition, a review will be conducted of the preliminary efforts made by American, British, and French special forces in Nigeria .

On Saturday, authorities in Cameroon reported that suspected Boko Haram militants from Nigeria had carried out an attack on a Chinese factory near the town of Waza, near Cameroon's border with Nigeria. Unconfirmed reports indicate one Chinese national was killed and another ten are missing.

mz/ (AFP, DPA, Reuters)

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