News / Africa

Lake Chad Countries Agree on Military Task Force Amid Insecurity

— The countries around Lake Chad in central Africa say they will create a joint task force to combat arms trafficking, terrorism and cross-border attacks as tensions escalate in the region. 

The conflict in the Central African Republic and the insurgency in northern Nigeria are having a regional impact, pushing refugees, weapons, and violence into neighboring countries.

In response, defense and military chiefs from the six-member Lake Chad Basin Commission met in Cameroon Tuesday and gave a green light to a multinational military task force empowered to act against militant threats.

Cameroon Defense Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o said this meeting was sort of a “shock therapy” for Lake Chad Basin member states to address how best to tackle growing threats and the growing security challenges.

Cameroon has been hit particularly hard by the chaos in the C.A.R. and the Boko Haram attacks in northern Nigeria.  Refugees from both countries have streamed into Cameroon, while officials have denied allegations that militants are using Cameroonian territory as a refuge or a base for operations.
 
Nigerian-born Sanusi Imran Abdullah is the executive secretary for the Lake Chad Basin Commission.  He said the new task force would be headquartered in the town of Baga in Nigeria's Borno state - the home state of Boko Haram.

"Baga is the institution or the place that is fully prepared to accommodate the headquarters.  As you know there are buildings there, there are infrastructures there and there is no need to build a new place," he said.

Borno is one of three Nigerian states where the government declared a state of emergency last May and has deployed thousands of troops in an effort to crush the Boko Haram insurgency.

Despite the operations, large-scale attacks on towns and cities continue. 

Chad, Cameroon, Libya, Niger, Nigeria and the C.A.R agreed that the initial mandate of the new task force will be to patrol the Lake Chad region, conduct military operations against arms dealers and suspected terrorists and to facilitate free movement.

Operations are to begin soon but no firm date has been announced.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid