` 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.



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United Nations The United Nations today launched an emergency response programme to support farmers in northern Benin who lost crops, livestock and fishing grounds when the region was hit by floods in August.

“This is emergency assistance with a longer-term view, in that it includes awareness raising and training on resilience for community members and local authorities, <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/203975/icode/“>said the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, who was in the country to launch the programme.

“This can help shape a new approach that looks to the future beyond the short timeframe of immediate emergencies.”

Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of employment in Benin. In the rural and impoverished northern region, families are even more dependent on agriculture and less able to cope with repeated setbacks.

Many of the villagers who were hit by the floods this year were only getting back on their get from the last floods in 2012. The Government estimates that crop losses alone are estimated at some $20 million. Due to the scale of the destruction, the Government has nearly exhausted its resources assisting victims with food, shelter and cash transfers, with little possibility to help re-launch the agricultural sector.

The emergency programme will launch immediately, assisting some 7,500 households that have been worst-affected by the floods by supplying quality seed for rice, off-season vegetables and maize, farming equipment, fertilizers, training in seed production and conservation, and storage infrastructure to reduce production losses.

Farmers will also be trained in modern technologies and best practices, such as micro-dosing of fertilizers, to increase production, reduce costs and protect the environment.

English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture ...

English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, white and red (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday, Mr. da Silva took part in a ceremony to immediately activate the emergency assistance in the northern villages of Malanville and Karimama, the worst affected by the flooding, where nearly all agricultural production was wiped out, and farmers were left with no crops and no seed for planting anew.

FAO said a portion of the emergency funding will go to rehabilitate the commercial activities of some 1,300 young people who had started farming under a Beninese Government programme for creating rural jobs and economic opportunity.

The programme’s resilience workshops will also benefit local community services by raising awareness of good agricultural practices, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and natural resources management.


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