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UN: Hot Pursuit Laws Needed to Fight Terrorism in West Africa


FILE - Chadian troops participate in the closing ceremony of operation Flintlock in an army base in N'djamena, Chad, Monday, March 9, 2015.

FILE - Chadian troops participate in the closing ceremony of operation Flintlock in an army base in N'djamena, Chad, Monday, March 9, 2015.

The United Nations is calling on African countries affected by terrorism to draw up legislation to facilitate hot pursuit.

Jean-Paul Laborde, executive director of United Nations counterterrorism committee, said terrorism suspects are escaping because police are not permitted to cross national boundaries without a warrant.

"Of-course there is more to be done not only by the international community but also at the regional level in terms of police cooperation which is already well done among the countries of central Africa. But it is also needed to establish links with the other parts of Africa especially with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) and with the countries of this region," said Laborde.

Laborde said he is visiting Cameroon with U.N. counterterrorism partner organizations to encourage more cooperation among west and central African states, which have been fighting the Boko Haram insurgency which has spilled outside of Nigeria’s border the last few years.

"We have here with us other organizations such as INTERPOL. It means that with all the organizations we will put recommendations and we will of-course follow up to get the necessary support to combat terrorism in compliance with the rule of law," said Laborde.

Boko Haram militants have been fighting for six years to impose a strict form of Sharia law across northern Nigeria. That fight has spilled over borders into Cameroon and Chad and has taken on a new international dimension since Boko Haram declared allegiance earlier this month to the Middle East-based terrorist group called Islamic State.

Earlier this year, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon agreed to create a regional force of more than 8,000 troops to fight Boko Haram and have begun cross border military operations.

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