Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Nigeria's neighbors band together to fight Boko Haram

Cameroon, Chad and Niger have launched a regional bid to combat the Boko Haram Islamists, as their attacks spread beyond Nigeria and concern mounts over the Nigerians' failure to regain control.

The three neighbours have opted for a joint military response to the cross-border threat from Boko Haram fighters and have made veiled criticisms of Nigeria, whose armed forces appear no match for the Islamist group that emerged in 2009.

Brutal raids, massacres, suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings by Boko Haram have claimed at least 13,000 lives and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes, mainly in arid northeast Nigeria.

Officially, all four states, whose borders converge in remote territory at Lake Chad, formed a military alliance that was due to take shape last November to battle Boko Haram.

But building a combined Lake Chad force seems to have dropped off the agenda.

Now the urgency of the situation is such that Nigeria's partners appear to have finally lost patience and decided to act.

Cameroon in particular has been critical of what it sees as the Nigerian authorities' passivity in the face of Boko Haram. Read More...

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