Nigeria hosts international talks on radical Islamist group Boko Haram

0,,19257364_303,00Several African leaders are attending the summit along with French President Hollande and top US and UK officials. The talks aim to hammer out a regional response to the group’s bloody insurgency.

Leaders of Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, along with French President Francois Hollande, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, gathered in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Saturday to discuss ways of combating a nearly seven-year insurgency by the extremist group Boko Haram.

Also invited were delegations from West African and Central African blocs, and the European Union.

Hollande’s presence at the summit reflects Paris’ traditional interest in its former colonies surrounding Nigeria. France and Nigeria recently signed an agreement on closer military cooperation.

Some 20,000 people have died and 2.1 million have been made homeless in the insurgency by the radical group, which is trying to set up an Islamic state in the region.

The summit is the second such high-level gathering following a first meeting in Paris two years ago to discuss strategies against the group. READ MORE

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About Cholo Brooks 17469 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.