News / Africa

    In Paris, Calls for Unified Strike on Boko Haram

    French President Francois Hollande, right, talks during the round table photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, May 17, 2014.
    French President Francois Hollande, right, talks during the round table photo at the "Paris' Security in Nigeria summit", at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, May 17, 2014.
    VOA News
    French President Francois Hollande says the Nigeria-based Boko Haram militant group has become a threat to all of West and Central Africa and a "comprehensive plan" must be established to fight it.

    Hollande commented at a Saturday news conference in Paris following a meeting with his counterparts from Nigeria and its neighboring countries.

    The meeting took place in the wake of the Islamist militant groups' kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls last month. Nigerian officials say 276 of the girls are still missing.

    'Comprehensive plan' needed
     

    Boko Haram
     

    • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
    • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
    • Began in 2002 as a nonviolent Islamist splinter group
    • Launched uprising in 2009
    • Has killed tens of thousands since 2010
    • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
    • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law
    The French president said Boko Haram was an al-Qaida-linked group. He told the regional African leaders a comprehensive plan must be put in place to exchange information and coordinate activities.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan agreed, saying "Boko Haram is no longer a local terrorist group." He said the militants were operating as "an al-Qaida of West Africa."

    Jonathan said his government was committed to finding the missing school girls. He said 20,000 Nigerian troops had been deployed to northern Nigeria, where the abductions occurred.

    Cameroon attack

    Just hours before the leaders gathered in Paris, suspected Boko Haram militants launched an attack in a border region of neighboring Cameroon.  

    Local officials say militants raided a Chinese workers' camp in the town of Waza, killing one person.

    Investigators say 10 Chinese workers are missing and are believed to have been kidnapped by the suspected militants.

    A witness told VOA about 200 gunmen arrived in a convoy of vehicles in Waza and began shooting.

    Representatives from the EU, Britain and other Western powers attended the meeting in Paris.

    UK ready to help

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his country is ready to offer Nigeria additional assistance. He said Britain had offered to embed military advisers with Nigerian military units.

    Boko Haram has said it wants to establish a strict Islamist state in northern Nigeria.  The militant group has been blamed for thousands of deaths from bombings and shooting over the past five years.

    The militants had recently released a video showing about 100 of the kidnapped girls who were seen wearing hijabs and reciting Islamic prayers. Most of the girls who were kidnapped were Christians.

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    by: Valentine from: Lagos
    May 18, 2014 2:55 AM
    The only solution is to correct that British mistake called Nigeria.

    by: Jose from: Waikiki
    May 17, 2014 10:09 PM
    Everybody cries for Obama when they need help. Then when we help, suddenly they think Bush is still in charge.

    by: GamePlan from: some where
    May 17, 2014 8:04 PM
    Sounds like another Iraq. What is it this time Oil or Gold that the greedy Europeans and American Cartels want?
    In Response

    by: Arthur from: San Diego
    May 19, 2014 11:43 AM
    Sir I think you are mislead. Maybe because they DONT have a huge abundance of natural resources the western world probably won't intervene. But to stand by and watch evil proliferate or exterminate these scum from the earth what would you do? They kidnapped 10 Chinese workers in Cameroon as well. Keep drinking your koolaid while the civilized world is slowly consumed by the plague that is Islam.

    by: USAFDAD from: OILDALE
    May 17, 2014 4:54 PM
    Immediately after their bold declaration France promptly surrendered and offered to sue for peace. As an act of solidarity Mrs. Obama found a photographer to snap a picture of her pouting with a hashtag tweet "Ban French Fries from schools".

    by: Frank from: NJ
    May 17, 2014 4:36 PM
    Just another cancer in this world. Eliminate the cancer before it consumes the body. The world needs to react, not one or two nations. with cancer, remove it, cut it out, burn it. Do it swift and take no prisoners, leave no cells to reproduce.

    by: Tyler Durden from: california
    May 17, 2014 4:21 PM
    Book Haram is NOT a threat to the entire west.
    In Response

    by: Anon from: Sf
    May 17, 2014 4:34 PM
    West and Central Africa. Reading comprehension fail.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 17, 2014 3:11 PM
    Someone at VOA should tell me what is libelous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, violent, pornographic, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or that constitutes hate speech or is illegal, commercial or violates copyright in the following material.

    Federal government asks for extension of state of emergency. This is laughable. How can the federal government be asking to extend what is not in existence? It is not enough to say there is a state of emergency It is also not enough to think that a state of emergency is in place just because the president thinks he declared one. Now tell me how a state of emergency can be in Borno State and boko haram has a field day out there at the same time. Just how can it be said there is a state of emergency and boko haram was able to drive through it with seven trucks loaded with over 200 secondary school girls and there was no challenge at a checkpoint?

    Saying there is a state of emergency anywhere in the country is to expose the country to ridicule. Maybe what the president means by an extension of so-called emergency rule is a chance to right what he did wrong in his earlier attempt at imposing emergency rule in the three states - maybe do it right to impose proper state of emergency by handing the states over to the military to rule for the period of the emergency, or as long as it takes to quell the disturbance, or as long as the president takes to exhaust his tenure - whichever one comes first. As it is presently, nothing can be achieved in so far as the probable sponsors, mentors, supporters and sympathizers of boko haram are not perturbed by the activities of the militants or the military. Here, let us assume that the federal government is asking for a chance to do it right rather than the misnomer of extension.

    Are there going to be arrests? Is the president at least going to summon those implicated one way or another to have a hand what is happening, to Aso Rock for some kind rapport? Or is he going to promote another kin pin in the name what to do to assuage the trouble? It happened during the Jos crisis, and that is why that crisis never came to an end, today presenting the form of confrontation between cattle rearers and farmers – a battle that involves use of AK-47. You wonder what a cattle rearer in Nigeria is doing with a riffle, how much more such a deadly weapon, and their leader - someone arming the insurgents from federal government office and funds - was handsomely rewarded with higher federal appointment. So I wonder if Jonathan knows what he is asking for this time around. I doubt if he will do it better than he has done in the past, especially with politicking and second term bid in mind.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 17, 2014 3:05 PM
    Jonathan should shut up and stop deceiving himself and others that he has made any effort in tracking down boko haram. His effort can be measured in how long it took him to react to the news of the abductions. All his concern now is his next term in office and so he sees every news of boko haram as an attempt to derail his political ambition. But he is not alone in his trade; he is seriously aided by western media which either posts only favorable news about him or hide every news that shows him as what he is - weak president. To the extent even VOA refuses to carry news blogs that either preempt the boko haram attacks or suggest possible reasons why the Nigerian president and the international co-riders have been abhorrently incapacitated in the fight against terror of boko haram. My posts here have been refused to see the light of day because someone there is afraid to publish issues exposing the Nigerian government complicity - as has been vindicated by a near mutiny when troops fired at their GOC for misleading and exposing them to boko haram ambush - or someone there is a sympathizer, friend or supporter of boko haram and does not want those things to expose them.

    Come to accepting aid from foreign countries, Britain's input would be like a return to the trap it set long ago. It was Britain that laid the foundation of muslim dominance of the Nigerian politics, military, police and defense set up, and ever since that dominance has led to boko haram infiltration of those outfits. Will Britain now try to right that wrong? Until that imbalance is corrected, the purported reluctance of the Nigerian military to go after boko haram will remain, and the foreign help being sent may be rubbished after all. Just imagine when a well equipped army that has carried out successful peacekeeping operations in the past is unable to arrest a situation that local unarmed vigilante takes so easy to arrest, what lesson does it draw?

    by: Finley from: Uk
    May 17, 2014 12:32 PM
    The "plan" would be to have the CIA STOP FUNDING BOKO HARAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by: Mrs. Childs from: USA
    May 17, 2014 12:18 PM
    Oh, time to wake up, America, because the establishment media, INCLUDING VOA, whom grovels to our tyrannical so-called government, WILL NOT TELL YOU THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, here is the plain TRUTH.

    The GOP is getting up to speed ahead of the 2016 dog and pony show. It has deployed America Rising, the super PAC launched by Mitt Romney operative Matt Rhoades, to take on Hillary Clinton, the only viable Democrat candidate. Tim Miller and Joe Pounder, two RNC media strategists, help Rhoades get the message out.



    “Last week the Daily Beast reported that Hillary Clinton’s State Department ignored pleas by the US Justice Department, FBI, CIA and numerous lawmakers to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Since then, Hillary has been silent, as questions mounted,” America Rising said earlier this week.

    Mitt Romney, now on par with Bob Dole and other sidelined former selectees, believes Americans “would like to hear” from Clinton on the Boko Haram.

    Most Americans, of course, could give a whit less about Boko Haram. Most are at best vaguely aware of the African terrorist group. Most are preoccupied with worries about losing their jobs as the elite Mitt represents blow out the underpinnings of the economy.

    Marco Rubio, the onetime golden boy of a refashioned tea party movement, says Obama and Clinton are flub ups and have weakened the esteemed foreign policy of the United States by ignoring the Boko Haram threat and by failing to officially classify it as a terrorist group. Rubio has his eye on the White House, so anything he says about his potential rival is news worth reporting, or so the establishment media would have us believe.

    The State Department said it didn’t jump on the terror designation immediately because of Nigeria’s attitude. “The government of Nigeria feared that designating these individuals and the organizations would bring them more attention, more publicity and be counter productive,” said Robert Jackson, the deputy assistant secretary for African affairs. Counter productive as in the headache of drone strikes and other covert military activities, as Yemen and Pakistan know a thing or two about.

    Clinton is no longer in government or has she officially declared her candidacy. But this will not prevent the supposed right side of the one party system from attacking the ostensible left side. The ill-conceived Twitter hashtag campaign launched by FLOTUS Michelle has backfired stupendously. Not only has the Obama administration graciously provided the right side the chance to gain mileage in the race to the finish line, it has also kicked off a robust blogosphere campaign using Ms. O’s image holding aloft a placard and hashtag as a prop in an admirable effort to center attention on Obama’s illegal and immoral drone war.

    The silly joke behind Rising America is that there’s not a lick of difference beyond tie color nuance between Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy (or, for that matter, much of anything else). Boko Haram is not high on the list of priorities, 200 school girls not withstanding. The kidnapping and lurid media coverage play well for the Africa agenda – reasserting full spectrum dominance more than 70 years after the fall of colonial empire on the continent and, of primary importance, undercutting China’s move to control plentiful resources there. Meanwhile, Africom churns ahead behind the scenes and headlines.

    President Jeb or whomever the Republicans elevate to read the teleprompter will not deal substantially different on Africa. Boko Haram is a roadside attraction soon distant in the rearview mirror. Come November, 2016, it will be almost completely forgotten.

    And do not forget that FACT that the CIA fund$ Boko Haram.

    FACT, FACT, FACT, do some truthful journalism, VOA!!!
    In Response

    by: sy from: florida USA
    May 17, 2014 4:26 PM
    Mrs Childs is quite correct in her analysis. My God MY God why have you deserted me the Psalm 22 is being shouted by these Chrtistian girls. No I am not Christian but a proud filthy Jew(according to Boko) and EVIL iS EVIL it is not relative-see Aristotle and Plato Where are you my Savior Amerika??? Are you listening Herr President Barack. Amerika wache auf!!!
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