` African Countries Declare War on Boko Haram and Agree Joint Cooperation to Tighten Borders ‘

#AceNewsServices – NIGERIA – May 17 – Countries neighbouring 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 on…to 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.

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 organisation.

“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 organisation. 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.

Al-Jazeera

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