News / Africa

In Paris, Calls for Unified Strike on Boko Haram

French President Francois Hollande, right, talks during the round table photo at the
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 non-violent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed 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.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: nikki from: reno
May 17, 2014 11:48 AM
It seems like the U.S is afraid to stand up to Islamic militants. If we do not help with the destuction of Boko Harem, it will eventually move out of Africa and move elsewhere. I dont believe we would want that to happen
Boko Harem is a world threat.,,,,,,,,

by: nikki from: reno
May 17, 2014 11:47 AM
It seems like the U.S is afraid to stand up to Islamic militants. If we do not help with the destuction of Boko Harem, it will eventually move out of Africa and move elsewhere. I dont believe we would want that to happen
Boko Harem is a world threat.,,,,,,,,
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 18, 2014 12:08 AM
Boko Harm will not be a threat to world. soon will be destroyed. no terrorist organization will live for ever .Osama bin laden was killed. Muslim brotherhood is disabled. it take times and people will understand the truth about Islam. their propaganda has failed because their vicious action will not intimidate people for ever. soon we will have another president like Gorge W Bush . it is over later or sooner

by: ali baba from: new york
May 17, 2014 10:07 AM
Boko Haram is member of international terrorism organization. they like octopus . once an arm removed ,another arm will replace it. they get a lot of money from Arab countries and Arab who live at Us and Europe . radical Muslim act and pretend that they peaceful and royal but their action explain otherwise. they give terrorism shelter. , they give them money . they are able to penetrate in media and they have lobby to influence the politician in Us . They are evil empire .it is very hard to remove it

by: Joseph
May 17, 2014 9:40 AM
It is sad, disappointing, and a shame that West African leaders have to wait for France to initiate a forum on boko haram, then they will go there for a photo session, spending millions of their countries money on lavish and expensive hotels while the helpless students are kept in forests bitten by snakes, mosquitoes and guns pointing at them 24/7. Where is ECOWAS and AU.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs