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Nigeria, neighbours ‘declare war’ on Boko Haram over abducted girls

Published on May 18, 2014 6:16 AM
Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan (left) and French president Francois Hollande give a press conference following a summit on the threat from Islamist sect Boko Haram at the Elysee palace, on May 17, 2014 in Paris. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Nigeria and its neighbours vowed on Saturday to join forces against Boko Haram under an accord described as a declaration of war on the Islamic militants holding more than 200 schoolgirls.

Meeting in Paris, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his counterparts from Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger approved an action plan to counter an organisation that has been blamed for 2,000 deaths this year as well as last month’s abduction of the schoolgirls from north-eastern Nigeria.

Underlining their threat, Boko Haram was suspected of carrying out another attack on the eve of the summit, killing one Cameroonian soldier and kidnapping 10 Chinese workers in Cameroon.

“We have seen what this organisation is capable of,” French President Francois Hollande said. “They have threatened civilians, they have attacked schools and they have kidnapped citizens of many countries.

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