الخميس , يونيو 11 2020

UK meeting to tackle Boko Haram

In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram group released on Monday 12 May 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the north-eastern town of ChibokThe girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok are believed to be held in a remote part of Borno state

The UK is hosting a meeting about the security situation in north-eastern Nigeria and how to tackle the Islamist Boko Haram militants.

Since they abducted more than 200 girls in April, foreign help has been offered to help end the five-year insurgency.

Correspondents say their attacks have increased since the kidnappings.

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Aminu Wali will be attending the high-level gathering organised by his British counterpart William Hague.

It follows on from last month’s summit in Paris where regional powers pledged to share intelligence and co-ordinate action against the group.

Boko Haram has waged an increasingly bloody insurgency since 2009 in an attempt to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. Thousands of people have died in their attacks and the subsequent security crackdown.

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Who are Boko Haram?

A screen-grab taken on 12 May 2014, from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has been designated a terrorist by the US government

  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

Who are Boko Haram?

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

Why Nigeria has not defeated Boko Haram

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“Since the appalling abductions of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok by Boko Haram, the international community has worked together closely to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism,” Mr Hague said in a statement last week.

He said Thursday’s ministerial meeting in London would build on agreements on intelligence sharing, co-ordinated border patrols and developing a regional count-terrorism strategy and would “consider further options to combat terrorism in northern Nigeria”.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the London summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, co-hosted by Mr Hague and UN special envoy and actress Angelina Jolie.

Representatives from the US, the European Union, Canada and Nigeria’s neighbours Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger will also be attending.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May 2013 in the three northern states where Boko Haram is most active – Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Map of Nigeria

The militants retaliated by stepping up their bombing campaign in cities and raiding small towns and villages.

Many people have fled their homes – some over the borders to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Correspondents says since the kidnapping of the girls from their boarding school in Borno state on 14 April, the attacks have become an almost daily occurrence.

A new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council says 3,300 people have been killed by Boko Haram this year alone.

The UK, the US, China and France are among those countries to have sent teams of experts and equipment to help to locate the girls.

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