17 May 2014

Nigeria: Global Strategy Against Boko Haram Adopted At Paris Security Summit

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

African and Western leaders agreed on Saturday to combine their intelligence information and defence mechanisms in a bid to reduce the security risk posed by Boko Haram. French President, François Hollande, called the islamist group a 'global' threat that warrants a 'global' response.'

It accomplished what it set out to do. Saturday's security summit saw leaders from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin agree to share their technical know-how with Western allies France, the U.S and Britain to defeat Boko Haram.

The plan adopted incorporates the following:

  • Co-ordinated, regional strategy to boost intelligence-sharing
  • Creation of surveillance and border-controls
  • Centralizing technical means and capability
  • Military presence around Lake Chad
  • Security-defence mechanism in danger situations.

The eight countries are already sharing intelligence information to retrieve more than 200 missing school girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram. This new plan now goes a step further to prevent more attacks by the religious sect, after fresh violence in a Boko Haram strong-hold on Friday.

French President François Hollande, who hosted the meeting, said the islamist group wasn't just "Nigeria's problem, but the whole world's."

"They have links to terrorist organizations throughout Africa and could destabilize the entire continent," he said during a press conference following the summit.

"The aim was to identify the threat posed by Boko Haram and to deal with it", Hollande stated, but ruled out putting French boots on the ground.

"This organization is capable of endangering the lives of innocent civilians, of abducting young girls and reducing them to bondage, to sell them," he added.

His Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, who called for the summit, has been strongly criticized for his handling of the girls' abduction.

I am "completely committed to getting our girls back", he declared, more than one month after their abduction.

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