Africa force may tackle Boko Haram - Nigeria

2013-12-09 13:47

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Nigeria's president said he has given his backing to the creation of an African rapid reaction force, adding that it could help tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, in comments published Monday.

"We fully support this rapid reaction force," Goodluck Jonathan told French radio station RFI in an interview on the sidelines of the recent France-Africa summit in Paris.

Jonathan's French counterpart Francois Hollande called for an African force to be set up, and said France was prepared to train 20 000 soldiers a year if the project goes ahead.

Hollande said France was offering to provide equipment, logistical support and advice on co-ordination for the force, and was seeking wider European Union funding for it to be operational by 2015.

Jonathan said he envisaged that the force could be deployed to hotspots across the continent, including in northern Nigeria, which has been in the grip of Islamist-linked violence since 2009.

Sustained attacks blamed on Boko Haram prompted the government in Abuja to impose a state of emergency in three northern states - Borno, Yobe and Adamawa - to try to stop the bloodshed.

The military has claimed that the banned militant group has been pushed into more remote, rural areas, yet violence has continued.

Outside support

Last week, Boko Haram launched a daring raid on military targets in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, leading to a city-wide curfew.

Jonathan said the state of emergency, which was extended for another six months in November, had been effective, particularly in Adamawa state.

But he said the Maiduguri attack demonstrated that Boko Haram should not be underestimated - and raised the possibility that the group was getting outside support, particularly in the supply of weapons.

Jonathan meanwhile dismissed repeated claims from human rights groups about abuses against Boko Haram suspects held at military detention facilities in the north.

He said those claims had been exaggerated but he had nevertheless sanctioned the release of one billion naira ($6.2m) to improve conditions.

Arrested Boko Haram militants were held in "satisfactory" conditions, he added, reiterating that the government was open to dialogue with the militant group.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.