News / Africa

    Hollande Calls for African Summit on Boko Haram

    French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech during his visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11, 2014.
    French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech during his visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11, 2014.
    VOA News
    French President Francois Hollande is calling on African leaders to meet in Paris later this week for a summit on how to deal with Boko Haram.
     
    The Islamic extremist group kidnapped more than 300 Nigerian schoolgirls last month in a brazen act of terrorism that has outraged the world.
     
    Hollande proposed the summit on Sunday during a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan.
     
    Some of the girls managed to escape their captors. But Boko Haram is still holding 276. The militants have mocked their parents, threatening to sell the girls on the human trafficking market.
     
    One of the girls who escaped, 19-year-old science student Sarah Lawan, described the armed kidnapping as "too terrifying for words."
     
    She says she is anguished that more of her classmates "could not summon the courage" to escape.
     
    Another victim who fled, a 16-year-old, said men waving AK-47 assault weapons ordered her to cook stolen food before she managed to escape with two other girls.
     
    Pope Francis prayed Sunday for the release of the girls, while British Prime Minister David Cameron called the abduction a part of "violent, extremist Islamism" in Nigeria and elsewhere.
     
    During a television appearance, Cameron held up the "Bring Back Our Girls" sign seen in protests throughout the world. 
     
    The United States and several other countries have sent intelligence and military experts to Nigeria to help look for the girls.
     
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told ABC television Sunday the United States would do all it could to help, but acknowledged "it will be very difficult." He called Nigeria a "vast country." Hagel said the United States has no plans to send troops to Nigeria.

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    Comments
         
    by: Frans Kompass
    May 12, 2014 3:42 PM
    Really Mr Hollande, have you forgotten what has happened much further South of the Equator. Please be consistent in dealing with humanitarian issues in Africa and not merely selective, to be seen taking action.

    by: peter from: lagos nigeria
    May 12, 2014 7:11 AM
    i think this is a great move which the french president hollande has taking to curb insurgency in nigeria called boko haram.this is the rite time the world should help bcos ther are fears living in nigeria now

    by: Gary from: United States
    May 11, 2014 6:45 PM
    Best idea yet try to get all the neighboring countries to squash boko together ,no place to run or hide.

    by: Bonnie MacEvoy from: Arcata, CA, USA
    May 11, 2014 2:46 PM
    The silence is deafening from the leaders of the Islamic population. Where are the clerics to chastise this behavior? To clarify that this is not how Islam works? To call for the release of the young girls? This cowardly and small minded behavior needs to be condemned, yet no high-profile Muslims step forward to do so. One can only conclude such acts are universally supported by this religion.
    In Response

    by: Jean from: USA
    May 12, 2014 7:43 AM
    Apparently you haven't read about the condemnation of these acts by the grand mufti in Saudi Arabia or head of Al Azhar in Egypt. Do some research before you spout off.

    by: purabi from: mumbai
    May 11, 2014 2:29 PM
    today is mother's day and my heart goes out to all those mothers whose little princesses are missing. may God give each mother the strength to be patient and the hope that at the end of a dark tunnel there's always light. cheer up mamas the good Lord will surely set your angels free.

    by: Shah Shah from: India
    May 11, 2014 2:21 PM
    It is part of Islam . because they only are slaves not human. If Muslim start respecting non believers problem of terrorism will be solved

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