President Goodluck Jonathan says the Islamist extremist froup, Boko Haram is “acting clearly as an al-Qaeda operation” and is no longer a local problem.
He made the statement in Paris while he met with leaders of Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Benin and representatives of France, Britain and the U.S. on Saturday, May 17, 2014 to hammer out details of an international response to the Islamic extremist group.
International nations have joined ranks with Nigeria to search and rescue more than 200 girls being held by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram, who claim to be fighting a holy war in Nigeria, move freely across the border into neighbouring Cameroon, where a Chinese company’s camp came under attack late Friday.
Boko Haram has offered to exchange the 276 girls who remain captive for their comrades who are being held by the government.
President Jonathan has ruled out the possibility of granting Boko Haram’s request of swapping the girls for their members.
On Saturday, Britain offered to send advisers to help the Nigerian military organize its efforts to fight Boko Haram rebels.
British Foreign Minister William Hague, speaking before the start of the meeting in Paris, said the Nigerian military was not organized in a way to deal effectively with the Islamist group.
French President François Hollande told the meeting that Boko Haram was now a threat to all Western and Central Africa.
He said: “Boko Haram is a major threat for all of western Africa and now central Africa with proven links to AQIM [al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] and other terrorist organizations.”