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W. Africa seeks regional effort against Boko Haram

Women hold a sign reading '#let's join forces for our girls, Africa helps Africa' during a sit-in on May 19, 2014 outside the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Commission headquarters in AbidjanThe West African bloc announced plans Saturday to increase cooperation with Central African states in the battle against “terrorism”, amid fears of Boko Haram’s insurgency spreading across the region. Nigeria has repeatedly said it needs more help from its central African neighbours — including Chad, Cameroon and Niger — to end the brutal five-year insurgency being waged by the Islamists. In the final communique of an extraordinary security summit, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it would “establish a high level partnership with Central African States to effectively combat terrorism.” Nigeria insists that Boko Haram fighters escape military pursuit by fleeing across the porous borders of its northeastern neighbours and some analysts believe senior Boko Haram commanders are in fact based in Cameroon.

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