YAOUNDE, CAMEROON —
French President Francoise Hollande wrapped up talks in Cameroon late Friday on the fight against terrorism, calling for more international support in the fight against Boko Haram in Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger.
Saying French air forces now carry out regular surveillance of the zone where Boko Haram operates, Hollande said France is ready to provide pictures and information about Boko Haram movements, emphasizing the critical importance of sharing military intelligence.
The French president also described the humanitarian situation of refugees and internally displaced persons as worsening by the day as he called for international support for Cameroon in particular, which is already hosting tens of thousands of refugees, mostly from Nigeria.
According to Cameroon officials, there are currently an estimated 50,000 Nigerian refugees throughout the region, and more than 100,000 internally displaced persons.
Addressing media, Cameroon President Paul Biya said his country's development has been seriously hampered by Boko Haram terrorism, but that he is committed to eradicating the group and needs international support.
Vowing Cameroon will never surrender counterterror efforts until Boko Haram is crushed, Biya also said Cameroon hasn't given so much as an "inch" of territory to the Islamist militants, but acknowledges the terrorist group has continued to attack with impunity.
Biya and Hollande signed multiple economic, military and cooperation agreements to improve ties that have been marred by suspicions France only exploits Cameroon.
Before Hollande arrived in Yaounde, Cameroonians in the economic capital, Douala, destroyed a statue of French General Philippe François Marie Leclerc de Hauteclocque, who during the Second World War fought in French Equatorial Africa and helped liberate Paris from Nazi Germany.
Cameroon was Hollande's final stop on a two-day trip to Africa, which also included visits to Benin and Angola.