Paris plan hatched to help bring back girls
Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30
Boko Haram has ample funds, highly sophisticated weaponry and advanced training with some of the world's most experienced terrorists, French president Francois Hollande said yesterday as he and African leaders grappled with how to combat the Islamic extremist group whose reach extends to five countries.
At the summit in Paris intended to hammer out a plan to find and free 276 schoolgirls being held hostage by Boko Haram, intelligence officials from the US, Europe and Africa shared information while heads of state and top diplomats tackled policy.
Hours after yet another attack in a Boko Haram stronghold – this time in Cameroon near the border with Nigeria – the leaders agreed to improve policing of frontiers, share intelligence, and trace the weapons and cash that are the group's lifeblood.
"This group is armed, with heavy weapons – and they have the ability to use them," said Mr Hollande.
France has negotiated the release of citizens held by Boko Haram in Cameroon and officials intended the summit to draw the outlines of an international approach.
The summit concluded with promises to coordinate border patrols, pool intelligence and track trafficked weapons.
Chinese state media reported that 10 people were missing in a Friday night attack on the camp in a region where Boko Haram has previously abducted foreigners, including a French family of seven and a priest.