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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs