Goodluck Jonathan.The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan and four neighbouring countries’ heads of state have agreed to step up a command centre with additional battalion to fight the Islamist sect, Boko Haram.

Highlights:

  • The meeting was held in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic
  • Talks were centred on collaborative efforts needed to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency
  • Agreement was reached to establish a command centre with concerned countries contributing troops
  • The centre will be established in November
  • Boko Haram is seeking an Islamic State and an end to western Education

Full Story:

The other countries are Niger, Chad and Benin Republic.

The agreement was reached at a meeting held on Tuesday in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic, where talks were focused on collaborative efforts needed to end the increasing insurgency by the Islamist sect.

After the meeting, the leaders in a statement said that the command centre for an already agreed-upon multinational force, led by a chief of staff, would be established by November 20.

Other leaders at the meeting were the President of Benin Republic, Thomas Boni Yayi, Niger President, Mahamadou Issoufou and Chad President Idriss Deby. The President of Cameroon also sent a representative.

“The heads of state regret the persistence of Boko Haram Islamic sect’s atrocious acts of terror on people and security forces in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries,” the statement read.

Troops deployment

The leaders agreed to conclude the process of a planned deployment of troops by member states to form the multinational force, to operate within their national borders by the beginning of November.

Benin, Nigeria’s western neighbour, with border stretching from the Atlantic to the Sahel north, was asked to deploy a full military battalion to its border with Nigeria.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in series of attacks carried out mostly in Nigeria’s north-east. Their demand – an Islamic State and and end to western education.

In the last few weeks however, they have shifted from the usual bombings, raids and kidnappings to trying to seize territories in areas near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

Why have they changed strategy?

It started after similar moves were made by Sunni Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. The group that has been described as a network of death by Barack Obama, president of the United States of America is fighting hard to win territories in Syria’s border with Turkey.

The Niamey meeting is a follow-up to a May summit in Paris where the leaders promised to improve cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram after the group kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls and threatened to destabilise the wider region.

NP/ABC

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