Nigeria’s neighbors Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin, and Western officials, met in Paris to flesh out a plan enabling them for the first time to share intelligence, coordinate action and monitor borders.

“Boko Haram is no longer a local terrorist group, it is operating clearly as an al Qaeda operation, it is an al Qaeda of West Africa,” according to President Goodluck Jonathan in Paris.

“We have shown our commitment for a regional approach. Without West African countries coming together we will not be able to crush these terrorists,” he said.

“There is determination to tackle this situation head on … to launch a war, a total war on Boko Haram,” Chad’s President Idriss Deby said.

The countries agreed to launch coordinated patrols and rescue operations, share intelligence, put in place a mechanism to prevent weapons’ smuggling and monitor borders.

Intelligence services and army heads would also meet soon to come up with a region-wide strategy to fight terrorism.

“The threat is serious and dangerous for the region, Africa and Europe,” French President Francois Hollande said, although no concrete operational measures were announced.

“We have affirmed our solidarity and determination to vigorously fight Boko Haram,” Cameroon President Paul Biya said. “They have committed one more attack, attacked businessmen and this comes after the French hostages were kidnapped. As we speak we are searching for an Italian priest and a Canadian nun. The problem has become regional, if not a Western problem.”

Source: per second news

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