AU summit to green-light anti-Boko Haram taskforce

The African Union summit will back plans to deploy a taskforce mandated with fighting the Boko Haram militant group in four African countries, the AU commissioner for peace and security has said

The African Union summit will back plans to deploy a taskforce mandated with fighting the Boko Haram militant group in four African countries, the AU commissioner for peace and security has said

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) summit will back plans to deploy a taskforce mandated with fighting the Boko Haram militant group in four African countries, the AU commissioner for peace and security has said.

"The AU summit will approve the deployment of 7,500 African troops to fight Boko Haram in Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon," Ismail Chergui told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.

He gave no details, however, as to which countries would contribute troops for the force.

Chergui said the Boko Haram issue had dominated Thursday's meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council.

"This terrorist organization is threatening the security and stability of countries in West and Central Africa," he said.

The AU summit kicked off on Friday in Addis Ababa with 40 African heads of state attending the two-day event.

Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, Boko Haram first emerged in the early 2000s in Nigeria, where it preached against government misrule and police corruption.

In 2009, the group became fanatically violent following the death of its leader while in police custody.

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