20 May 2014
Five West African countries come together in the fight against Boko Haram
On 17 May five West African countries agreed to a plan focusing on enhanced military cooperation and intelligence sharing with the purpose of combating the regional threat from Boko Haram, the extremist group which abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria last month. The meeting was organised by French President Francois Hollande, at the request of Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Johnathan, and was also attended by the heads of state of Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin. Senior American, British and European diplomats were also present.
According to the NY Times, the meeting was meant to be a first step towards persuading the countries to work together, despite past differences and suspicions. According to the same source, President Hollande stated that the general regional action plan is envisioned on a medium and longer term and that it would include, amongst other activities: intelligence coordination, sharing of information, centralisation of means, border surveillance.