Terrorism

AU endorses 7,500 strong regional forces to fight Boko Haram


AU Commission Chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has announced West African plan to set up a regional task force of 7,500 to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants.

Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin had earlier in the month ask the AU to seek U.N. Security Council support for their plan to take on insurgents who are fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

Accordingly, it is recommended that the countries of the region be authorized to increase the strength of MNJTF to up to 7,500," she said in a statement following the bloc's Peace and Security Council meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, late Thursday.

Mr ismail Chergui commissioner of the AU's Peace and Security Council,told reporters on the sidelines of an African summit in Addis Ababa shortly after the meeting that: "We want to achieve the goal that we are looking for, that is to really stop the killing and these barbaric acts of Boko Haram.''

He said the African group would meet in Cameroon early February "to draw up a concept of operations and strategy, rules of engagement, command and control, and related issues''.

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