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West African Leaders Establish Regional Anti -Terrorism Force

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Following the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission held on Tuesday in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic, West African leaders have decided that a regional force put in place to counter the Boko Haram Islamic will begin operations in November.

In a joint statement released to newsmen after the meeting, the heads of state agreed to hasten the establishment of a headquarters for the force and have military battalions positioned at each country’s border by November 1.

According to the statement, the new headquarters of the anti-terrorism force will be completed by November 20.

The countries involved in the summit included, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Benin, as well as Cameroon.

The president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, who hosted the summit stressed that since the affected countries gained independence, their survival has never been so susceptible to the menace of terrorism, forces of division and organised crime.

It will be recalled that in July, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon had all pledged 700 soldiers to establish a multi-national force to fight the Nigeria-based insurgents, which has so far taken the lives of more than 10,000 people since it first struck in 2009.

The terrorists are believed to be in control of more than two dozen towns and villages in North eastern Nigeria.

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The Nigerian military has however met stiff resistance in a bid to retake all lost territories as part of an offensive launched in May 2013.

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